Back in November I blogged about tough enforcement action Reading Borough Council was taking against a rogue landlord. However, when discussing issues in the private rented sector it is important also to highlight the examples of good landlords we have in the Town and this week I was pleased to hear that the first local landlord has become accredited via the National Landlord Association's accreditation scheme.
Last year the Coalition Council took the decision to join the NLA's scheme as it offered better value for money for taxpayers, and importantly offered more benefits to tenants and landlords than running our own inhouse scheme. This move was roundly criticised by some Labour councillors, rather predictably. For some reason Reading Labour councillors seem permanently wedded to supporting outdated policies even when all the evidence shows they are expensive and don't work.
As part of the administration's commitment to continuing to drive up standards in the private rented sector by working with landlords a training event is being held in Reading organised by the NLA on 24 February to help landlords learn new skills and take steps towards accreditation. If you are a landlord in Reading and would like to attend you can find out more information about the event and accreditation more generally here. As a councillor representing a ward with thousands of students I have campaigned for a number of years to improve the quality of private rented housing around the edge of the University - hence my support for landlord accreditation. With this in mind I will be meeting the new Vice President (Welfare & Representation) of Reading University Students Union soon to discuss what more we can do to help students on housing matters.