The National Landlords Association has reported that its NLA Accreditation Scheme for private landlords is now being used by 28 local authorities, just one year on from its launch.
The NLA Accreditation Scheme provides local authorities with the means for compliant landlords to self regulate and keep up to date with best practice and legislation, freeing up vital resources to tackle the small number of rogue landlords that blight the sector.
The Scheme was launched by the NLA in April 2010 and is free to local authorities. The scheme is also recognized by all local authorities in Wales. Over 85% of landlords who have completed the Scheme to date have described it as ‘excellent’.
‘The NLA Accreditation Scheme provides local government with a valuable vehicle to raise standards within the private rented sector and local authorities are now waking up to its potential,’ said David Salusbury, NLA chairman.
‘The NLA Scheme provides landlords with a clear way of demonstrating that they are professional by understanding their obligations, as well as the extensive legislation governing the letting of private residential property,’ he explained.
‘The fact landlords can become accredited through the NLA’s Scheme without cost to the public purse is an obvious benefit. We’re very pleased with the feedback from participating landlords, with 85% of those completing the scheme describing it as excellent. These individual landlords will now be able to promote that fact that they are accredited by the NLA,’ he added.
The NLA has also welcomed proposals from the government to criminalize squatting. There have been a number of high profile cases recently where landlords have found themselves unable to get into their properties because of squatters. However, Salusbury said the proposals don’t go far enough.
‘The NLA strongly welcomes the Government’s move to end the distress and misery caused by squatters. We do not, however, feel the proposals fully address the central issue of property owners being able to regain possession if squatters occupy their premises. The NLA does not believe that criminalizing individual squatters will alone solve the problem,’ he explained.
‘At present, it can take landlords upwards of three months to lawfully regain possession of their property from squatters. The NLA would like to see landlords being able to demand that squatters leave immediately, and also automatically regain lawful possession,’ he said.
‘The Police should be able to support landlords in such action through amendments to their existing statutory powers, such as Exclusion Notices which should prevent the squatters from returning. We would like to see the Government put the rights of property owners at the core of this policy,’ he added.