Tenants living in private rented accommodation in Norwich are set to benefit from national support for the council’s new property registration scheme, following a meeting held yesterday at City Hall.
Landlords and letting agents from across the region joined council officers and other housing professionals to discuss how they could work together to improve conditions for those living in the city’s 14,000 privately rented homes.
The jointly hosted event was the first of its kind to take place in Norwich, marking a new partnership between the city council and the National Landlords Association (NLA).
The main focus was the council’s recently launched property registration scheme ‘PRSNorwich’, providing local landlords and agents the opportunity to learn more about the scheme and how they can support it.
The scheme has been designed to improve conditions across the city’s private rented sector and enable prospective tenants to make informed choices about where they choose 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.
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 PRSNorwich 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.
Councillor Bert Bremner, Norwich City Council's cabinet member for private sector housing, said: “Keeping our residents safe and ensuring all housing is of a good standard are top priorities for the council.
“This new partnership with the NLA is an excellent example of the work being done 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.”
Don Robbie, Local Representative for Norfolk, National Landlords Association, said: “The NLA works closely with Norwich City Council in order to improve standards of letting in the area, and we hope that the launch of PRS Norwich will provide greater transparency and consistency for the thousands of tenants who rely on private rented homes in the city."