10:59 AM, 13th February 2012, About 10 years ago 3
The 1st of March will see the launch of the countries first tenant accreditation Scheme, (UK TAS), bred from a pilot scheme trialled in Southend-on-sea by the private sector housing of the Borough Council.
The UKTAS is in stark contrast to the numerous accreditation schemes out their aimed at agents and landlords to drive out rogue landlords and make tenants aware of what a ‘good’ landlord should be.
The aim of UKTAS is to help landlords and agents identify ‘good’ tenants beyond the usual tenancy referencing checks. It will be run in the same way as the landlord scheme, offering the same style of incentives to tenants with an emphasis on what rights a tenant has and their responsibilities towards their landlord and the property they are renting
The thinking behind the scheme is that by completing the tenancy accreditation it shows that a tenant is willing to go the extra distance, not only to learn what is expected of them and to actively contribute towards a better understanding of the landlord and tenant relationship, but possibly the wider community, and certainly the neighbourhood.
The scheme offers prospective tenants a course to learn ‘how to be a good tenant’, but the question I find myself asking over and over is “Isn’t this just another scheme?” Surely if a tenant passes the reference stage and pays their deposit and rent up front, whether they have taken the UKTAS’s course or not would be irrelevant, a well written tenancy agreement should lay out in simple terms exactly what the tenants rights and responsibilities are.
I would be interested to find out if accreditation to the UKTAS for a tenant is a one off or if an annual subscription and re-test is required each year or even after each tenancy to ensure that the tenant has remained a ‘good tenant’, paid their rent and bills and kept the property tidy, but what, I ask happens to the tenants who don’t get accredited or fail to uphold their ‘good tenant’ status? As with landlord and agent schemes, if the terms of being a member are no longer met, then nothing happens to that landlord, they just don’t renew, this does not have a detrimental effect on their letting ability as none of these scheme are a legal requirement.
So at the risk of sounding cynical, isn’t the UKTAS, while a good idea in theory, just a another pointless venture aimed at making money out of the people who can least afford it.
Despite trawling the internet for further information of this new scheme due to launch in just over two weeks, I was unable to find anything, not even a website holding page.
In an ideal world I would have liked to speak with the schemes founders and find out exactly what the ‘tenant course’ content actually consists of, not even Southend council where able to help me.
So as this goes to print, I wait in anticipation for the 1st of March and the new Tenant Accreditation Scheme
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