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Accreditation: right for the times A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Accreditation: right for the times A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accreditation: right for the times A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

2 The private rented sector: professionalism and quality The government response to Rugg Simon Llewellyn Communities and Local Government

3 The government response to the Rugg Review Background facts and figures why a review now? The Rugg Review findings policy directions of travel Government response headlines regulatory proposals fiscal measures local authority engagement Next steps

4 Background – facts and figures In 1939, 55% of households rented; late 1980’s down to 8%; in 2007 the sector had grown to 12%; and in 2008 levels were 14% - much higher proportions in London Not a homogenous sector - fulfils a wide range of needs, from high end luxury property, to young professionals, to households on Housing Benefit. Renting has been relatively more affordable than buying, with rents increasing broadly in line with earnings whilst house prices doubled over the period 1997 to 2007 Satisfaction levels in the sector are good – in % of private tenants either very or fairly satisfied with their landlord - and highest for those on higher incomes – 22% of tenants could afford to buy and chose not to Flexible – with far greater movement than other tenures, and high levels of long distance and job related moves. More stable than often suggested – average tenancy length is months and 21% of tenants have been living at their current address for 5+ years

5 Background – why a review now? The Hills Review of the Social Rented Sector The Law Commission reviews Reviews commissioned by RICS, Shelter, Grainger, BERR CAB campaign on retaliatory eviction Independent review of the PRS commissioned from Julie Rugg and David Rhodes on 23 January 2008 Findings published 23 October 2008

6 The Rugg Review - findings Both landlords and tenants should be encouraged to view letting and renting as a less risky activity. The vast majority of tenancies begin and end in good faith and with no issues arising for either party Sector performing an important and flexible role Offers quality and choice alongside a safety net But weaknesses identified Most landlords well-intentioned. But some do not have sufficient expertise and a minority are ill-intentioned Local authorities not always able to focus enforcement effort to best effect

7 The Rugg Review – policy directions of travel Developing a sound evidence base Promoting housing management (including regulation of letting and managing agents and improved training) “growing” the business of letting (measures to acknowledge letting as a business rather than investment) Equalising the rental choices (including proposals for local authority-led “social letting agencies”) Light-touch licensing with effective redress (no hurdle, mandatory and linked to improved enforcement activity) Tenancy frameworks

8 Government response - headlines We (and our stakeholders) recognise the picture in the Rugg Review Value the sector and its contribution to people’s housing profiles – but also conscious of weaknesses Response endorses the overall approach put forward in the review – aims to support good landlordism but also to increase professionalism and tackle poor performers 3-pronged approach: the right regulatory approach; more support for investment; and improved engagement with the sector

9 Government response – regulatory proposals A national register for landlords (no hurdle, annual registration, persistently poor landlords to be removed) Written tenancy agreements (mandatory, minimum requirements to be set out in legislation) Increasing the threshold for ASTs (upgrading from £25k to £100k) Exploring changes to selective licensing criteria Regulation of letting and managing agents (full, mandatory, independently-led and linked to complaints and redress)

10 Government response – support for investment An improved regulatory framework (reducing actual and reputational risks for potential landlords) Private rented housing investment fund (PRSI) (HCA actively working with the potential large-scale investors) Mortgages for the private rented sector (improved protection for tenants, better understanding by lenders) Fiscal framework for landlords (continuing work to explore options)

11 Government response – local authority engagement An improved conversation (viewing landlords as businesses, training, better evidence) Making the right links (joining up different departments to produce the maximum impact) Local lettings agencies (optimising the way in which housing needs are met in the PRS) Improved access to accreditation (access to an accreditation scheme for all landlords)

12 Next steps Proposals are for consultation – responses due 7 August Ongoing engagement with key stakeholders through task and finish groups and one-to-one discussions Will report on consultation outcomes in November This is the beginning of a process – we don’t have all the answers An opportunity to all stakeholders to engage in the shaping of government policy

13 Accreditation - right for the times! Caren Green – Salford City Council Babette Howard – Bury Council

14 A&List regional network sub-areas Greater Manchester Merseyside Cheshire (East, West and Chester) Lancashire (East and West)

15 Activity of the network Covers 33 authority areas (mergers) Steering group regular meeting Live action plan to drive forward Code of Standards agreed and produced

16 Activity of the network Terms of reference for the network Annual General Meetings (AGM) Presence at conferences and events Articles in magazines and trade journals

17 Working positively with Landlords Consistence of scheme standards Reasonable and proportionate action Opening dialogue and engagement Promoting training and development

18 Partnership working for success Landlord organisations on network Improving landlord and authority relations Joint training events with support Valuable advice and insight

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20 Scheme requirements and declaration

21 Smart regulation with limited resources Enforcement action targeted Investment in the private rented sector Improved landlord – tenant relations Longer term tenancy sustainment

22 The North West leading the way 33 authority areas in region 23 authorities operating scheme 3 authorities actively working up schemes 7 authorities without schemes

23 Strategic thinking works Empty Properties Affordable Warmth Enforcement BME Housing

24 Wider strategic links Homelessness & Housing Options Pinpoint Local CBL Schemes Myth busting & education

25 Accreditation Plus Healthier, safer homes Area regeneration Crime reduction A vehicle for consultation

26 Accreditation Plus Mediation Engaging with private tenants Work with managing agents Rent deposit schemes

27 And More… Engaging with new & reluctant landlords Forums & training events (again!) Raising the profile of the PRS Publicise what we do

28 Regional movement… The network in not funded Request support from Government Office Possible bid for funding from CLG Strategic importance – statutory function?

29 Smart regulation - added value for all Accreditation: right for the times

30 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Accreditation: Working Together Paul Gott Regional Organiser Yorkshire and the Humber

31 To protect and promote the private residential landlord NLA view on Accreditation 3 main areas : Property Accreditation Landlord & Agent Accreditation Tenant Accreditation

32 To protect and promote the private residential landlord NLA view on Accreditation Support all Accreditation; property, landlord, tenant Advocate landlord-based scheme Focus should be on improving property management – raising awareness of landlord legal obligations. Increasing the professionalism of landlords will improve the quality of rented properties

33 To protect and promote the private residential landlord NLA vision for Landlord Accreditation To recognise landlords who provide a good service to their tenants and act in a responsible manner. To provide tenants with assurance that landlords will act fairly and provide good quality accommodation. To promote good practice in the letting and management of accommodation. To assist regulators in concentrating their resources on rogue landlords.

34 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Advantages for Landlords Status of being publicly identified as a good landlord Driving out the ‘rogues’ Business advantages Information and development

35 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Advantages for Tenants Knowledge that their landlord has attained a recognised quality mark. Higher property management standards. Properties at or above a defined condition.

36 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Advantages for Local Authorities Accreditation schemes can increase the supply of good quality accommodation. Provide local authorities with access to professional landlords. They foster better landlord-tenants relationships.

37 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Making Accreditation Work Current over-reliance on regulation & enforcement. Need to incentivise - only accredited landlords:  Tax breaks to bring property up to standard. Expand LESA etc.  Tax breaks for landlord & tenant training  Local authority practical help & support Need to promote awareness.

38 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Accreditation and Grants Accreditation should incorporate grant or loan schemes Would provide an added incentive for landlords to join Could assist pending applicants achieve the required standards Should also be made available for general repairs

39 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Fit and Proper Person Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks should not form part of the accreditation process. Landlords are not one of the required professionals under a statutory obligation to provide details of any spent criminal convictions

40 To protect and promote the private residential landlord NLA involvement with Accreditation Schemes Provide training courses for:  London landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS)  Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW) NLA on Steering Group for LLAS Consulted on composition of:  Carmarthenshire Accommodation Accreditation Scheme  Gravesham Borough Council Landlord Accreditation Scheme

41 To protect and promote the private residential landlord NLA Accreditation NLA are developing a national accreditation scheme which will incorporate:  Code of Practice  Landlord Development (CPD)  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Would be available for all landlords not just NLA members. Local authorities could use it for free as all or part of their own schemes.

42 To protect and promote the private residential landlord Any questions? National Landlords Association Tel:

43 Promoting regulation: supporting accreditation LACORS helping councils help landlords A&LIST Convention 19 June 2009 Ruth Hammond-Laing Policy Officer (Housing) LACORS

44 Aim of Presentation To explain role of Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services, and highlight some achievements. Consider how we carry on in a changing world. Examine the two government consultations in light of our contribution on accreditation to the Rugg Review. Emphasise what LACORS can do.

45 LACORS’ Mission LACORS’ mission is to enhance the reputation of local government by informing policy development, as well as guiding, supporting and improving the delivery, co-ordination and consistency of local authority regulatory services.

46 Achievements Guidance on tackling unlicensed HMOs; Publication of National Fire Safety Guidance; Publication of National Guidance on regulation of overcrowded accommodation; A coherent contribution to the Rugg Review; Working with councils to promote the benefits of landlord accreditation. Reluctant landlord leaflet – for those thinking of renting out their home;

47 Regulation in a changing world LACORS doing what’s required. Endorsed by government. Expectations of councils still high. And demand for the PRS grows! Continue the support, but how?

48 Consulting with councils Responding to sector and planning changes. 26 June deadline of comments to LACORS. Consultation arrangements. Implementing the Rugg proposals? Background to the ECOTEC report.

49 The Rugg Review and accreditation LACORS’ contribution. Some survey findings. Call for a network of schemes. Responsible landlords and partnership working. But only enforcement for some.

50 Consultation proposals on accreditation Improved professionalism and availability. What about a kitemark? Or a national standard? To charge or not to charge a fee? We all need more training!

51 Implementing the proposals Consider proposals carefully. A landlord register. Universal availability. Tenants and accredited landlords. A national standard. Resourcing schemes. Sharing good practice.

52 What can LACORS do? Continue discussions on accreditation. Promote good practice. Encourage inclusion of PSH issues in corporate housing strategies. Carry on working with ANUK and others. Support licensing of letting and managing agents. Communicate via LACORS specialist s. Make your voice heard.

53 Contact Details Send comments on the consultations: By to By post using the addresses: 1. Rugg Review Consultation 2. Use Classes Consultation 2009 LACORS, Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ.

54 The Regional Housing Strategy Paul Hegarty Regional Housing Officer June 2009

55 Why Review the 2005 RHS? Markets and demographics Structures - Sub-national Economic Review, creation of HCA and Local Government White Paper Opportunities to strengthen links between housing and economic growth & inclusion Inform Regional Strategy 2010

56 What is the Strategy for? Set out the housing issues facing the North West Inform the Integrated Regional Strategy Strengthen alignment with RSS Establish a set of principles for the regional housing roles of the key agencies, sub-regions and districts Provide a signal for all housing, planning and regeneration spend in the region To make the case to Government, supported through the Regional Funding Advice (RFA) process, to support real long term investment commitments to meet the regions housing priorities.

57 The RHS vision: "to create balanced housing markets across the North West that support economic growth, strengthen economic and social inclusion and ensure that everyone has access to appropriate, well-designed high quality, affordable housing in sustainable, mixed and vibrant communities."

58 The Three Themes of the RHS 2009: To achieve this vision there are three equally important and connected objectives for the Strategy: Achieving the right quantity of housing Continuing to raise the quality of the existing housing stock Connecting people to the improved housing offer

59 The RHG response to the Rugg Review: Acknowledge the important role the PRS plays in the regions housing market. Highlighted the significant problems that LAs have with meeting the Decent Homes Standard in the PRS. Support the growth of the PRS in line with local regeneration plans and local strategic housing aims… crucial growth is monitored to ensure it does not destabilise existing neighbourhoods. Support A&List and look to develop work. Increasing problems with leasehold and freehold management of apartment blocks and flats in the region. Support national work to identify potential to provide longer term, more secure tenancies.

60 RHS Action Plan RHS Action Plan has been developed in accordance with the three integrated objectives set out in RHS The Action Plan makes specific reference to the Private Rented Sector. However, we would welcome your input and acknowledge the need to engage with experts around the region to identify the future priorities for the RHG

61 The RHS is available from: once the action plan is signed off by the RHB this will also be available online.

62 Thank you

63 Panel Session A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

64 Closing remarks A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

65 Exhibition Local authorities will be showcasing work in the following areas; Area 1: Accreditation: right for the times Area 2: Providing support, advice and guidance for our landlords Area 3: Increasing housing choice and promoting tenancy sustainment Area 4: Health & Safety in the Home Area 5: Working with external professional partners


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