We took the decision to join this scheme which is operated by the National Landlord Association following a review of the old scheme which was operated inhouse by the Council when it was under Labour control.
The review found that:
"'while LAS is a useful tool to stakeholders, the re-launch of Reading’s current LAS would not deliver outcomes in the most cost-effective way.'It continued:
'The (previous)scheme did not drive up house conditions significantly because landlords attracted to LAS are generally those with property in good order already.
The soft outcomes of running the scheme are outweighed by the fact that the scheme had contact with only 2.3% of Reading’s rental market despite vigorous promotion and a cost of circa £34k per annum."So not only was Labour's scheme ineffective but it was a big waste of taxpayer's money too.
Labour councillors opposed the move, despite the fact that their landlord accreditation scheme had stopped running a few years back.
Despite this when it came to the Budget meeting a few weeks ago Labour councillors did not put forward any proposals to fund landlord accreditation so I can only assume they would not reinstate their old scheme or if they did they would have to fund it by cutting funding for some other service to pay for it.
The new scheme we launched involved the Council signing up to a national scheme operated by the National Landlord Association.
This has enabled us to operate a high-quality scheme at minimum cost to Council Tax Payers and freeing up officers to focus their energies on tackling the worst offenders in the sector.
Since the scheme was launched last year 25 landlords have gone through the accreditation process and become fully accredited. I hope this will help increase tenant confidence in the sector. I also hope many more landlords go through the process and this helps to promote high standards in the sector.
More networking and training events for landlords in Reading are planned for April - find details here.