Agents and landlords play a significant role in housing city residents and students with more than one in five homes in the city in this sector and this is double the national average. The new Letting Agents Accreditation Scheme aims to increase property standards, tenancy management and make agent’s fees more transparent.
Agents and landlords will be encouraged and supported to improve both their property standards and their service standards with advice and information on grants and other services.
The council will also work with the universities to promote accredited agents to students and parents.
With a growing private rented sector in Brighton the scheme provides reassurance to people looking to rent that the letting agent will not let them down. Agents will benefit through accreditation as it shows they are trustworthy and that they provide a quality service.
The scheme asks tenants to fill in feedback forms which are monitored by Brighton & Hove City Council. Through this evaluation it’s decided whether the agent can keep their accreditation status.
Cllr Liz Wakefield, Chair of the Housing Committee, said:
“This is a great scheme because it benefits both tenants and good landlords. We want to make sure that finding a place to live is as safe and stress-free as possible, and we want to reward good landlords with recognition.”
Jennifer Smith, Sussex Student Lettings Manager, University of Sussex Students’ Union, said
“As part of the University of Sussex Students’ Union, we welcome any initiative aimed at helping improve lettings service levels and standards for students across the city. We were pleased to be involved in the council’s development of the Letting Agents Accreditation Scheme, and hope that it will lead to increased confidence for tenants and landlords when choosing an agency to do business with in future.”
Barrie Alderton, of Brighton’s Barrie Alderton estate Agents, said:
We were very keen to be a part of Brighton & Hove Council’s accreditation scheme from its inception. Already members of the major trade bodies, and the only combined estate agent and letting agent in Brighton & Hove to be approved by Trading Standards in The Buy With Confidence Scheme, we continuously strive to offer the best possible service to both landlords and tenants alike.
“The Letting Agents Accreditation Scheme will enforce our company philosophy of always working to the highest standards. But most importantly tenants will now have the knowledge and peace of mind that dealing with an agent with the councils logo on their door, that they will be treated with respect and fairness at all times.”