Alternative to licensing/accreditation?  Bad landlords, look away now!

by Kirsty McGregor

13:59 PM, 11th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Alternative to licensing/accreditation? Bad landlords, look away now!

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Alternative to licensing/accreditation?  Bad landlords, look away now!

Following on from the discussion entitled “Raising Standards or Raising Funds” it appears that the majority of readers agree that additional and selective licensing and property based accreditation schemes run by local authorities are not necessarily the best route forward. However, there does need to be a simple way of differentiating better quality landlords/properties for tenants in my opinion.

If the sector can self-regulate as much as possible, it would be certainly better than any government intervention.

So what about a simple graded quality rating for rental properties?

Much like the star rating system in hotels, it would be an idea that tenants would easily understand.

When it became an industry standard, rental prices would reflect the rating of the property.

What do you think should be included in such a star rating though?

Comment s/thoughts welcome from both landlords, tenants and letting agents.

Regards

Kirsty 5 star rated buy to let properties



Comments

Kirsty McGregor

9:10 AM, 30th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Steven, we are open for business this morning. If you want the surveys at £25, be quick! http://www.real-surv.co.uk/rental-ratings/

Yvonne B.

11:41 AM, 30th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kirsty McGregor" at "27/09/2013 - 23:08":

Hi Kirsty,

I see now that your targeting the expensive rentals first, this obviously does not deal at all with the rogue landlords we all want to see the back of. This is just a 'selling' gimmick, to get people in the door, advertising works just as well.

The rental market is the same as the selling market - you put a price on, people come & look. If they like it at the price offered, they take it!
If it is over priced, in the wrong area, space not right - they don't take it.

A rating system will not rent the property but you may have a larger footfall through the door, if it's still over-priced it still won't rent! That's why the selling market doesn't have a rating system.

Tenants will lose faith in a rating system very quickly. How do you rate a very large , spacious property but with rubbish furniture against a small property with top class furniture/fittings?
Some tenants will prefer the space and buy their own furniture so will rent the first one, some tenants are not bothered about space and will fall in love with the second one? It's the same as buying houses - not everybody likes the same things.

I just can't see it ever working, sorry.

Kirsty McGregor

16:22 PM, 30th September 2013
About 7 years ago

I hardly think it's reasonable to expect us (as Real Surv/Rental Ratings) to solve the problem of 'rogue landlords' overnight - when it's taken the PRS years to build up such a problem in the industry. Give us a chance Yvonne!

Mike

19:14 PM, 30th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kirsty McGregor" at "13/09/2013 - 09:27":

Hi Holiday let star rating is administered by Quality in Tourism an independent company supported by the state funded Visit England tourism association.
Having had both rental and holiday lets, I think bringing the star rating to rental properties is a can of worms that landlords could do with out. In the holiday let market there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the star rating scheme when it comes to self catering property. The property is often assessed when occupied so you are at the hands of the people staying, I have lost a star rating because of the state the house was in, I had to pay for re assessment to gain the start back. Properties of different ages and style are assessed the same. So the example given would mean the old listed house where double glazing could not be fitted would loose out to modern house with double glazing. The assessors were found to asses differently even though much effort was put into to make sure assessments were uniform. Some landlords dressed the property just for the assessment to inflate the star rating and then moved everything out after assessment. The owners were not assessed which is not a problem for a couple of weeks but if you are in a rental property how well you get on with the landlord and how quickly the respond to problems is crucial.
I find the market tends to regulate property condition quite well. To rent a property for a good price it needs to be well presented and maintained. Poor properties stick on the market and a good property does not necessarily mean a good landlord or management agent. The real problem is differentiating between good and bad landlords. Would not a self-regulated ombudsman scheme that can name and shame Landlords and while we are at it, tenants who are serial offenders. Most of the regulations are in place that are needed to keep every one protected if only they were complied with.
Surely Kirsty you miss the main point by miles. When you book an hotel you do not visit each hotel to check out which is the best. Who rents a property without inspecting it first often two or three times.

Kirsty McGregor

19:53 PM, 30th September 2013
About 7 years ago

Hi Mike - lots to respond to there. I'll try to cover them all!

- the 'main point' that tenants visit properties is taken; however for a hotel you are only staying for a very short term; your home is different & obviously needs to be taken more seriously. Yet most tenants don't know a thing (or ask) about the quality of the structure for example & whilst they look at the obvious aesthetics, they don't think to check so much about how often the boiler is serviced or if the attic is insulated. 'We don't know what we don't know". This check is independent, although not state-owned. And it will give the tenant some comfort about the condition of the property.

- I have always said landlords themselves are important of course, so that's why landlords should also be personally accredited if they want to give tenants some independent comfort of themselves as landlords. The problem with accreditation schemes is that most tenants don't understand them - there are so many, and who do they complain to? There are ombudsmans/authorities/regulatory bodies whatever you want to call them for tenants to report bad properties or bad landlords. And very very few use them, because they don't know about how to go about it.

- the rating is actually to help get them through the door in the first place. Not to replace a viewing. And then at decision stage, it may be enough to swing them to one property over another - all still down to the value they believe they are getting of course, but if you don't tell them everything they are getting (in an easy to digest way), they won't be able to consider it all;

- Yes, I accept that an old property with no DG will mark lower on that. But may rate higher than newer properties on size, or outside space, or location, or plenty of other areas. It's highly unlikely to damage the score so much as to affect the rating in itself.

- If a tenant feels that the landlord 'dressed the property' then didn't provide the same facilities on an ongoing basis, I'm sure they would tell us about it!

- The hotel scheme is monitored by Visit England now, but it was introduced by AA, many many years ago and was then an independent & private company.

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