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Accreditation: right for the times A&List NW Regional Convention 2009 Chair - Paul Beardmore Director of Housing – Manchester City Council. The private rented sector: professionalism and quality The government response to Rugg. Simon Llewellyn Communities and Local Government.

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slide1

Accreditation: right for the times

A&List NW Regional Convention 2009

Chair - Paul Beardmore

Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

the private rented sector professionalism and quality the government response to rugg

The private rented sector: professionalism and qualityThe government response to Rugg

Simon Llewellyn

Communities and Local Government

the government response to the rugg review
The government response to the Rugg Review
  • Background
      • facts and figures
      • why a review now?
  • The Rugg Review
      • findings
      • policy directions of travel
  • Government response
      • headlines
      • regulatory proposals
      • fiscal measures
      • local authority engagement
  • Next steps
background facts and figures
Background – facts and figures
  • In 1939, 55% of households rented; late 1980’s down to 8%; in 2007 the sector had grown to 12%; and in 2008 levels were 14% - much higher proportions in London
  • Not a homogenous sector - fulfils a wide range of needs, from high end luxury property, to young professionals, to households on Housing Benefit.
  • Renting has been relatively more affordable than buying, with rents increasing broadly in line with earnings whilst house prices doubled over the period 1997 to 2007
  • Satisfaction levels in the sector are good – in 2006 75% of private tenants either very or fairly satisfied with their landlord - and highest for those on higher incomes – 22% of tenants could afford to buy and chose not to
  • Flexible – with far greater movement than other tenures, and high levels of long distance and job related moves.
  • More stable than often suggested – average tenancy length is 12-18 months and 21% of tenants have been living at their current address for 5+ years
background why a review now
Background – why a review now?
  • The Hills Review of the Social Rented Sector
  • The Law Commission reviews
  • Reviews commissioned by RICS, Shelter, Grainger, BERR
  • CAB campaign on retaliatory eviction
  • Independent review of the PRS commissioned from Julie Rugg and David Rhodes on 23 January 2008
  • Findings published 23 October 2008
the rugg review findings
The Rugg Review - findings

Both landlords and tenants should be encouraged to view letting and renting as a less risky activity. The vast majority of tenancies begin and end in good faith and with no issues arising for either party

  • Sector performing an important and flexible role
  • Offers quality and choice alongside a safety net

But weaknesses identified

  • Most landlords well-intentioned. But some do not have sufficient expertise and a minority are ill-intentioned
  • Local authorities not always able to focus enforcement effort to best effect
the rugg review policy directions of travel
The Rugg Review – policy directions of travel
  • Developing a sound evidence base
  • Promoting housing management

(including regulation of letting and managing agents and improved training)

  • “growing” the business of letting

(measures to acknowledge letting as a business rather than investment)

  • Equalising the rental choices

(including proposals for local authority-led “social letting agencies”)

  • Light-touch licensing with effective redress

(no hurdle, mandatory and linked to improved enforcement activity)

  • Tenancy frameworks
government response headlines
Government response - headlines
  • We (and our stakeholders) recognise the picture in the Rugg Review
  • Value the sector and its contribution to people’s housing profiles – but also conscious of weaknesses
  • Response endorses the overall approach put forward in the review – aims to support good landlordism but also to increase professionalism and tackle poor performers
  • 3-pronged approach: the right regulatory approach; more support for investment; and improved engagement with the sector
government response regulatory proposals
Government response – regulatory proposals
  • A national register for landlords

(no hurdle, annual registration, persistently poor landlords to be removed)

  • Written tenancy agreements

(mandatory, minimum requirements to be set out in legislation)

  • Increasing the threshold for ASTs

(upgrading from £25k to £100k)

  • Exploring changes to selective licensing criteria
  • Regulation of letting and managing agents

(full, mandatory, independently-led and linked to complaints and redress)

government response support for investment
Government response – support for investment
  • An improved regulatory framework

(reducing actual and reputational risks for potential landlords)

  • Private rented housing investment fund (PRSI)

(HCA actively working with the potential large-scale investors)

  • Mortgages for the private rented sector

(improved protection for tenants, better understanding by lenders)

  • Fiscal framework for landlords

(continuing work to explore options)

government response local authority engagement
Government response – local authority engagement
  • An improved conversation

(viewing landlords as businesses, training, better evidence)

  • Making the right links

(joining up different departments to produce the maximum impact)

  • Local lettings agencies

(optimising the way in which housing needs are met in the PRS)

  • Improved access to accreditation

(access to an accreditation scheme for all landlords)

next steps
Next steps
  • Proposals are for consultation – responses due 7 August
  • Ongoing engagement with key stakeholders through task and finish groups and one-to-one discussions
  • Will report on consultation outcomes in November
  • This is the beginning of a process – we don’t have all the answers
  • An opportunity to all stakeholders to engage in the shaping of government policy
accreditation right for the times

Accreditation - right for the times!

Caren Green – Salford City Council

Babette Howard – Bury Council

slide14
A&List regional network sub-areas
  • Greater Manchester
  • Merseyside
  • Cheshire (East, West and Chester)
  • Lancashire (East and West)
slide15
Activity of the network
  • Covers 33 authority areas (mergers)
  • Steering group regular meeting
  • Live action plan to drive forward
  • Code of Standards agreed and produced
slide16
Activity of the network
  • Terms of reference for the network
  • Annual General Meetings (AGM)
  • Presence at conferences and events
  • Articles in magazines and trade journals
slide17
Working positively with Landlords
  • Consistence of scheme standards
  • Reasonable and proportionate action
  • Opening dialogue and engagement
  • Promoting training and development
slide18
Partnership working for success
  • Landlord organisations on network
  • Improving landlord and authority relations
  • Joint training events with support
  • Valuable advice and insight
slide21
Smart regulation with limited resources
  • Enforcement action targeted
  • Investment in the private rented sector
  • Improved landlord – tenant relations
  • Longer term tenancy sustainment
slide22
The North West leading the way
  • 33 authority areas in region
  • 23 authorities operating scheme
  • 3 authorities actively working up schemes
  • 7 authorities without schemes
slide23
Strategic thinking works
  • Empty Properties
  • Affordable Warmth
  • Enforcement
  • BME Housing
slide24
Wider strategic links
  • Homelessness & Housing Options
  • Pinpoint
  • Local CBL Schemes
  • Myth busting & education
slide25
Accreditation Plus
  • Healthier, safer homes
  • Area regeneration
  • Crime reduction
  • A vehicle for consultation
slide26
Accreditation Plus
  • Mediation
  • Engaging with private tenants
  • Work with managing agents
  • Rent deposit schemes
slide27
And More…
  • Engaging with new & reluctant landlords
  • Forums & training events (again!)
  • Raising the profile of the PRS
  • Publicise what we do
slide28
Regional movement…
  • The network in not funded
  • Request support from Government Office
  • Possible bid for funding from CLG
  • Strategic importance – statutory function?
slide29

Smart regulation - added value for all

Accreditation: right for the times

accreditation working together
Accreditation:Working Together

Paul Gott

Regional Organiser

Yorkshire and the Humber

nla view on accreditation
NLA view on Accreditation

3 main areas:

Property Accreditation

Landlord & Agent Accreditation

Tenant Accreditation

nla view on accreditation32
NLA view on Accreditation

Support all Accreditation; property, landlord, tenant

Advocate landlord-based scheme

Focus should be on improving property management – raising awareness of landlord legal obligations.

Increasing the professionalism of landlords will improve the quality of rented properties

nla vision for landlord accreditation
NLA vision for Landlord Accreditation

To recognise landlords who provide a good service to their tenants and act in a responsible manner.

To provide tenants with assurance that landlords will act fairly and provide good quality accommodation.

To promote good practice in the letting and management of accommodation.

To assist regulators in concentrating their resources on rogue landlords.

advantages for landlords
Advantages for Landlords

Status of being publicly identified as a good landlord

Driving out the ‘rogues’

Business advantages

Information and development

advantages for tenants
Advantages for Tenants

Knowledge that their landlord has attained a recognised quality mark.

Higher property management standards.

Properties at or above a defined condition.

advantages for local authorities
Advantages for Local Authorities

Accreditation schemes can increase the supply of good quality accommodation.

Provide local authorities with access to professional landlords.

They foster better landlord-tenants relationships.

making accreditation work
Making Accreditation Work

Current over-reliance on regulation & enforcement.

Need to incentivise - only accredited landlords:

Tax breaks to bring property up to standard. Expand LESA etc.

Tax breaks for landlord & tenant training

Local authority practical help & support

Need to promote awareness.

accreditation and grants
Accreditation and Grants

Accreditation should incorporate grant or loan schemes

Would provide an added incentive for landlords to join

Could assist pending applicants achieve the required standards

Should also be made available for general repairs

fit and proper person
Fit and Proper Person

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks should not form part of the accreditation process.

Landlords are not one of the required professionals under a statutory obligation to provide details of any spent criminal convictions

nla involvement with accreditation schemes
NLA involvement with Accreditation Schemes

Provide training courses for:

London landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS)

Landlord Accreditation Wales (LAW)

NLA on Steering Group for LLAS

Consulted on composition of:

Carmarthenshire Accommodation Accreditation Scheme

Gravesham Borough Council Landlord Accreditation Scheme

nla accreditation
NLA Accreditation

NLA are developing a national accreditation scheme which will incorporate:

Code of Practice

Landlord Development (CPD)

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Would be available for all landlords not just NLA members.

Local authorities could use it for free as all or part of their own schemes.

any questions
Any questions?

National Landlords Association

Tel: 020 7840 8900

Email: info@landlords.org.uk

www.landlords.org.uk

slide43

Promoting regulation: supporting accreditationLACORS helping councils help landlordsA&LIST Convention19 June 2009

Ruth Hammond-Laing

Policy Officer (Housing)

LACORS

aim of presentation
Aim of Presentation
  • To explain role of Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services, and highlight some achievements.
  • Consider how we carry on in a changing world.
  • Examine the two government consultations in light of our contribution on accreditation to the Rugg Review.
  • Emphasise what LACORS can do.
lacors mission
LACORS’ Mission
  • LACORS’ mission is to enhance the reputation of local government by informing policy development, as well as guiding, supporting and improving the delivery, co-ordination and consistency of local authority regulatory services.
achievements
Achievements
  • Guidance on tackling unlicensed HMOs;
  • Publication of National Fire Safety Guidance;
  • Publication of National Guidance on regulation of overcrowded accommodation;
  • A coherent contribution to the Rugg Review;
  • Working with councils to promote the benefits of landlord accreditation.
  • Reluctant landlord leaflet – for those thinking of renting out their home;
regulation in a changing world
Regulation in a changing world
  • LACORS doing what’s required.
  • Endorsed by government.
  • Expectations of councils still high.
  • And demand for the PRS grows!
  • Continue the support, but how?
consulting with councils
Consulting with councils
  • Responding to sector and planning changes.
  • 26 June deadline of comments to LACORS.
  • Consultation arrangements.
  • Implementing the Rugg proposals?
  • Background to the ECOTEC report.
the rugg review and accreditation
The Rugg Review and accreditation
  • LACORS’ contribution.
  • Some survey findings.
  • Call for a network of schemes.
  • Responsible landlords and partnership working.
  • But only enforcement for some.
consultation proposals on accreditation
Consultation proposals on accreditation
  • Improved professionalism and availability.
  • What about a kitemark?
  • Or a national standard?
  • To charge or not to charge a fee?
  • We all need more training!
implementing the proposals
Implementing the proposals
  • Consider proposals carefully.
  • A landlord register.
  • Universal availability.
  • Tenants and accredited landlords.
  • A national standard.
  • Resourcing schemes.
  • Sharing good practice.
what can lacors do
What can LACORS do?
  • Continue discussions on accreditation.
  • Promote good practice.
  • Encourage inclusion of PSH issues in corporate housing strategies.
  • Carry on working with ANUK and others.
  • Support licensing of letting and managing agents.
  • Communicate via LACORS specialist emails.
  • Make your voice heard.
contact details
Contact Details
  • Send comments on the consultations:
  • By email to housing@lacors.gov.uk
  • By post using the addresses:
  • 1. Rugg Review Consultation
  • 2. Use Classes Consultation 2009
  • LACORS, Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ.
slide54

The Regional Housing Strategy 2009.

Paul Hegarty

Regional Housing Officer

June 2009

why review the 2005 rhs

Why Review the 2005 RHS?

Markets and demographics

Structures - Sub-national Economic Review, creation of HCA and Local Government White Paper

Opportunities to strengthen links between housing and economic growth & inclusion

Inform Regional Strategy 2010

what is the strategy for
What is the Strategy for?
  • Set out the housing issues facing the North West
  • Inform the Integrated Regional Strategy
  • Strengthen alignment with RSS
  • Establish a set of principles for the regional housing roles of the key agencies, sub-regions and districts
  • Provide a signal for all housing, planning and regeneration spend in the region
  • To make the case to Government, supported through the Regional Funding Advice (RFA) process, to support real long term investment commitments to meet the regions housing priorities.
the rhs vision
The RHS vision:
  • "to create balanced housing markets across the North West that support  economic growth, strengthen economic and social inclusion and ensure that everyone has access to appropriate, well-designed high quality, affordable housing in sustainable, mixed and vibrant  communities." 
the three themes of the rhs 2009
The Three Themes of the RHS 2009:
  • To achieve this vision there are three equally important and connected objectives for the Strategy:
  • Achieving the right quantity of housing
  • Continuing to raise the quality of the existing housing stock
  • Connecting people to the improved housing offer
the rhg response to the rugg review
The RHG response to the Rugg Review:
  • Acknowledge the important role the PRS plays in the regions housing market.
  • Highlighted the significant problems that LAs have with meeting the Decent Homes Standard in the PRS.
  • Support the growth of the PRS in line with local regeneration plans and local strategic housing aims… crucial growth is monitored to ensure it does not destabilise existing neighbourhoods.
  • Support A&List and look to develop work.
  • Increasing problems with leasehold and freehold management of apartment blocks and flats in the region.
  • Support national work to identify potential to provide longer term, more secure tenancies.
rhs action plan
RHS Action Plan
  • RHS Action Plan has been developed in accordance with the three integrated objectives set out in RHS 2009.
  • The Action Plan makes specific reference to the Private Rented Sector.
  • However, we would welcome your input and acknowledge the need to engage with experts around the region to identify the future priorities for the RHG
slide61

The RHS is available from:www.nwrpb.org.uk/regionalhousingstrategy09once the action plan is signed off by the RHB this will also be available online.

slide63

Panel Session

A&List NW Regional Convention 2009

Chair - Paul Beardmore

Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

slide64

Closing remarks

A&List NW Regional Convention 2009

Chair - Paul Beardmore

Director of Housing – Manchester City Council

slide65

Exhibition

Local authorities will be showcasing work in the following areas;

Area 1:Accreditation: right for the times

Area 2:Providing support, advice and guidance for our landlords

Area 3:Increasing housing choice and promoting tenancy sustainment

Area 4:Health & Safety in the Home

Area 5:Working with external professional partners