Landlord and Letting Agent Accreditation and Trade Bodies
The private rented sector has set a great deal of store by landlord accreditation for well over a decade. Local Authorities have also adopted accreditation, basing their schemes on property inspections and after a percentage of their properties have been inspected, awarding accreditation. Some local authorities offer discounts to accredited landlords such on HMO and Selective Licence fees.
So how do landlords gain accreditation?
The National Landlords Association (NLA) base their accreditation scheme on landlord development and good management practice. Being accredited by them also shows tenants (or those about to rent a property) that the landlord is a professional.
The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) was launched in 2004 as a partnership of London boroughs, landlord organisations and educational organisations. It aims to recognise good practice and improve conditions in the private rented sector.
With over 18,000 landlords and 1300 agents and growing, plus 7500 outside of London, LLAS is the biggest and most established scheme of its kind operating throughout London and in many parts of the UK.
There is also the Private Sector Accreditation Scheme for both landlords and letting agents.
If landlords are already accredited with some other scheme such as London Landlord Accreditation Scheme or other approved scheme, the Guild of Residential Landlords allows landlords to passport into their accreditation scheme for free.
Not all landlords manage their rental properties, instead preferring to hand the role to letting agents. These agents can gain accreditation through the UK Association of Letting Agents (AKALA) although it is the office which become accredited, not the individual landlord.
There is also the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) which is an independent, not for profit licensing scheme for lettings and management agents operating in the Private Rented Sector. It was established by the Empty Homes Agency with the backing of industry organisations such as ARLA and RICS.