A new accreditation scheme for landlords in Guildford has been launched following work by a Liberal Democrat councillor. Under the new voluntary scheme landlords and agents have to meet certain standards of property maintenance and tackling anti-social behaviour and in return institutions like the University of Surrey promote these landlords to people looking for accommodation.
The scheme came from a council group led by Lib Dem Councillor Caroline Reeves and aims to raise standards in private rented accommodation both for tenants and for neighbours. The scheme is funded by Guildford Borough Council and the University of Surrey in partnership.
The new scheme is especially good news for Onslow neighbourhoods like Ashended, Dennisville and Guildford Park where the number of houses of multiple occupancy have increased dramatically in recent years.
Talking about the scheme, Cllr Caroline Reeves said:
“I have lived in the same house for 27 years, very close to the town centre, and have seen the changes in the community now that so many homes are let to families or tenants sharing.
“Houses of Multiple Occupancy or ‘HMOs’ are the only way that many can live in the town, and increasingly it’s young professionals not students who have to share. As a ward councillor, I receive complaints from both tenants and the neighbours of rented properties, and it seemed to me that there must be a way of ensuring that as an authority we can help all concerned.
“We worked together with the University of Surrey and Surrey Students’ Union and obtained input from all our further education bodies plus a number of agents and landlords, to design a scheme which will provide improved quality assurance for all landlords, letting agents, tenants and their neighbours.”