Lady Renee-Marie Young, Landlord Development and Accreditation Officer at the National Landlords Association (NLA), discusses the benefits of accreditation and why it would be sensible for any landlord to be accredited.
‘So what are the benefits, what’s in it for me?’ are the words I hear all the time when I am out speaking about NLA Accreditation at public meetings or taking calls during my day-to-day role. I am passionate about the work we do here at the NLA and have always tried to work with other providers for the greater good of the private rented sector (PRS). That is why I am excited about our new development of a National Register of Accredited Landlords; it is the first of its kind. I truly believe that knowledge is power and that this is a great step forward in recognising the hard work that landlords have put in, no matter where they live or whom they are accredited with.
So here we answer the question to give you the top five benefits of becoming accredited.
- Your opportunity to prove you can self-regulate
There have always been calls for further regulation in the PRS; using accreditation is an alternative means of meeting a national management standard in an efficient and more cost-effective way for all those involved. It is the way to prove that the PRS can self-regulate, reducing the need for licencing or further regulation which just penalises good landlords with higher costs (which potentially can be passed on to the tenants).We say promote NOT penalise!
We wish to recognise the hard work put in by landlords to achieve this level of good management practice by way of displaying an accredited logo. This shows you have met the required standards, through the scheme’s verification process, and ensures you are subject to enforcement if found not to be up to standard. The scheme also has a robust complaints system if any problems should arise. By using the logo or badge of accreditation, you are setting yourself apart from the rest, and tenants have confidence that you will act professionally towards them.
Recent research from the NLA shows that about 70 per cent of tenants would be more likely to accept a property from a landlord if they knew they were committed to completing annual continuing programme of accreditation or training.
- Competitive edge
Accreditation, training and development shows you how to streamline your business and maximise returns. We outline how to use clear, fair and reasonable tenancy agreements, a range of forms and guidance for landlords. By becoming accredited you will become an NLA member which will give you access to a range of benefits including additional support by way of the NLA Advice Line and the online library resource. It can offer you ways to sustain tenancies and resolve issues quickly, giving you a competitive edge.
There are a number of discounts locally or nationally that can be obtained by becoming accredited. Various councils offer licensing discounts and provide accredited landlords easier access to service or grant funding opportunities. Some local authorities even discount items such as parking permits, energy efficiency certificates, gas safety certificates and offer priority or early advertising opportunities. Nationally, the NLA offers discounts on services such as deposit protection through my|deposits, as well as discounted products via our comprehensive list of recognised suppliers.
At the NLA we offer a range of services including rent manager, deposit protection and free tax investigation insurance – not to mention a comprehensive range of recognised suppliers – to support you at every stage of your lettings journey. Other schemes and local authorities offer a range of priority services for accredited landlords too.
Of course, it doesn’t just stop there; accreditation offers much wider benefits to organisations and local authorities such as:
- Preventing rogue operators from moving from one area to another through sharing information about those who have broken the scheme rules.
- Reducing the emphasis on top-down enforcement as landlords must meet the scheme rules and agreed standards.
- Establishing a national standard which is controlled at a local level by each scheme using the same format and allowing landlords to passport from one scheme to another.
All of which makes it easier for responsible landlords to differentiate themselves from the rogues and make a success of their lettings business.
National Register of Accredited Landlords
We must stress that the Register is not purely a benefit of NLA Accreditation or for NLA landlords only. Our objective is to support responsible landlords to demonstrate their commitment to best practice in the PRS, and show that further regulation isn’t always the answer. It is about raising the profile of landlord accreditation and highlighting those who are committed to best practice and a professional standard of management. We do hope that you will join us in applying to join our register.
If you’re yet to become accredited then visit the NLA’s website for more information about how it will benefit you. As well as standard chalk and talk style courses you can become accredited online, meaning you take it all at your own pace.