Tenants in private rented accommodation in Norwich will benefit from a new property registration scheme being launched today.
Norwich City Council has worked closely with local landlords, letting/managing agents and existing accreditation schemes to develop ‘PRSNorwich’.
The scheme is designed to improve conditions for those living in the city’s 14,000 privately rented homes and enable prospective tenants to make informed choices about where they live.
It will provide better regulation across the sector by recognising landlords who provide accommodation of a good standard and helping the council to target those who operate outside the law.
Landlords and agents can register individual properties in the scheme for a nominal fee or apply to become an ‘Approved Organisation’. Providing they meet the standard required, they will be able to register all their eligible properties at no cost.
Martin & Co Norwich is the first organisation to be officially approved under the scheme, with further applications already pending from a number of reputable landlords and agents involved in the scheme’s development.
A further roll-out is already planned for a National Landlord Association conference taking place at City Hall next month and anyone who is renting, or looking to rent in Norwich, will soon be able to check whether a property is registered with the scheme on the council’s website.
In the meantime, tenants should ask their landlord or agent about the scheme and look out for the PRS Norwich logo in the agent’s office, on their website, or in the property itself..
The council website contains a host of advice and guidance to assist landlords in meeting the requirements of the scheme and will inform tenants of the standards they should expect in their property.
Landlords can also sign up to the free event being held in conjunction with the NLA on 11 May 2016.
Paul Swanborough, the city council’s strategic housing manager, said: “Keeping our residents safe and ensuring all housing is of a good standard are top priorities for the council.
“This is an excellent example of the work being done to work with landlords and agents to raise standards in the private rented sector and we are delighted with how the scheme has been received so far.
“Our website has a wealth of information to support landlords in meeting their obligations to their tenants and we encourage all reputable landlords to set themselves apart by signing up.”
Mike White, who jointly owns and operates Martin & Co Norwich with his son Matt, said: “We are delighted to be the first letting agent in Norwich to be accepted into the scheme.
“This is a fantastic council initiative and it has been our pleasure to play a consulting role in helping to shape the scheme.
“I would encourage all landlords to register their properties with PRSNorwich, or better still, if you use an agent to manage your portfolio, ask them to sign up as an ‘Approved Organisation’.