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New Website Launched to Help People Renting in York


12:36pm 11th December 2013

York Council has launched a new website which makes it easier for prospective tenants to find good quality, safe and secure homes for rent and aims to support improved standards across York’s private rented accommodation sector.

The YorProperty accreditation scheme is backing the council’s drive to improve private rented property, and has launched a new website www.yorproperty.co.uk.

This site only lists accredited homes whose member landlords and/or agents have agreed to meet certain safety and security standards, including current gas safety certificates, carbon monoxide detectors and registering with a tenancy deposit scheme.

Accreditation can be for one of two standards: YorProperty Standard which exceeds legal standards by asking for carbon monoxide detectors at the property, or YorProperty Plus Standard which has higher levels of safety and security measures, better decor and facilities.

Members are encouraged to train in landlord responsibilities and management, and follow best practice guidelines. Besides supporting them to build safe and successful businesses, any misunderstandings and disputes with tenants can be reduced and more promptly resolved.

The scheme allows self-certification with ten per cent of accredited properties being randomly inspected on an annual basis while freeing the council to support the minority of less rigorous landlords and agents to improve their housing stock and renting standards.

Through charging a £50 membership fee and an administration fee based on the number of properties owned or managed by a member, YorProperty also aims to be self-financing.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, said: “The 2011 census recorded a total of 14,980 households (17.9%) were living in private rented accommodation in York. Such high demand can make it difficult for tenants to differentiate between a good landlord or agent, an amateur or a potential rogue.

“While the vast majority of landlords in York are professional in their approach, there are many who do not fully understand the sector’s legal framework and unwittingly break the law leaving tenants vulnerable. It is likely that there are a small number of rogues – both landlords and agents – who wilfully exploit the landlords they represent and tenants.

“To support the sector as a whole, this scheme will introduce clear minimum standards and improve the choices people make about private renting. At the same time it will improve the information and support available to help landlords raise standards and help already good, professional landlords differentiate themselves in this important, growing sector.”

Interested landlords and agents should contact the council at housing.standards@york.gov.uk or on 01904 551563 or visit www.yorproperty.co.uk

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