Scheme supporting landlords and tenants launched
A new scheme to help landlords provide better quality homes has been launched at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's Headqaurters this morning.
The scheme supports landlords in helping to drive up the quality of housing for tenants across the County’s private rented sector.
Landlords who ensure their homes are properly maintained and managed will be able to join the Essex Landlord Accreditation Scheme (ELAS). As a result they will be able to benefit from:
• direct access to impartial advice and support on relevant issues;
• opportunities for networking at forums and events;
• access to information on housing trends and needs in their areas which until now was only provided to local housing associations.
• reductions on their insurance costs;
Through highlighting the Essex’ good landlords, the scheme will help tenants avoid falling foul of unscrupulous landlords. In turn this will help continue to drive up the standards of housing in the private rented sector.
From early October landlords across Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping Forest, Maldon, Tendring and Uttlesford will be able to enlist in the scheme for an annual fee of £95.
To be members of the ELAS landlords will need to:
• demonstrate that their properties are safe to live in
• ensure that their tenants have valid Tenancy Agreements
• ensure that all faults reported by their tenants are dealt with in good time
• have valid gas certificates and Energy Performance Certificates for their properties
• lodge deposits provided by their tenants in line with statutory legislation
Essex County Council’s Cabinet member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, Cllr Roger Hirst, said: “There are thousands of families living in the County’s private rented sector. This scheme has major benefits for both tenants and landlords.
“Model landlords will help drive up the standards of private rented housing. To maintain these, spot checks will be carried out to ensure they are continuing to fulfil the standard needed to be part of the scheme.”
“We are committed to working with our partners across the borough, district and city councils to attract the businesses we need to continue growing the Essex economy. This scheme is part of that ongoing work.”
Backed by Essex County Council, the scheme will be managed by CFOA Blue Watch which was set up by the Chief Fire Officers Association to make living accommodation safer across the UK. With a focus on the prevention of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other potentially fatal risks in the home, CFOA Blue Watch is well placed to add value to the scheme.
Adam Eckley, Acting Chief Fire Officer, Essex County Fire & Rescue Service said, “ECFRS is delighted to be working with Blue Watch on this innovative new scheme which has its inaugural launch today in Essex.
“Community safety is our prime concern and there are landlords in our County who fail to meet their responsibilities; that puts tenants and their families at risk. We believe this tri-partite approach will help to weed out the minority element that chooses not to comply with good practice either through ignorance or intent.”
Landlords wanting to find out more information about the scheme should visit www.essexlandlords.com