Accreditation Schemes

2.15 Accreditation Schemes

Membership of accreditation schemes is voluntary. They enable landlords
to demonstrate that their properties comply with legal standards and good
management practice through the accreditation status.

Local and central government, professional housing organisations and
landlord associations recommend membership.

Accreditation schemes operate across two thirds of the geographical areas
covered by the 350 local authorities in England and Wales. Most schemes are operated by local authorities with some student based schemes
operated by educational establishments or related agencies.

Schemes may be locally or regionally operated e.g. Wales has its own
national scheme.

The Accreditation Network UK (ANUK) is the national body that publicises,
promotes and shares good practice in accreditation. Detailed information
about accreditation is available from: www.anuk.org.uk

2.15.1 How Schemes Operate

Schemes accredit either the landlord or the property. They require
compliance with a set of reasonable physical and management standards.

Operational details vary according to, and to suit, a range of regional or
local factors.

Property inspections prior to, or after accreditation, may be carried out to
check scheme compliance.

Some landlord accreditation schemes are education based and require
attendance at a classroom based landlord foundation course, or the
undertaking of an equivalent on-line course. Such schemes do not require
properties to be inspected e.g. the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

Schemes have complaint investigation systems. Persistent failure to
comply with a scheme will result in the loss of the accreditation status.

2.15.2 Membership Benefits

The accreditation status provides landlords with a market advantage.

In addition to this, scheme operators may provide a range of further
benefits to encourage membership, the numbers and extent of which may
be determined by available resources.

Benefits can be categorised into information provision, financial e.g.
discounted products and services, and a supportive approach and ‘light
touch’ regulation by local authorities.

Access to some property letting services by local authorities, educational
establishments and related agencies may be conditional on membership of
an accreditation scheme.

2.15.3 ANUK/Unipol Codes of Standards for Larger Student Developments

These two government approved national schemes are administered by
Unipol Student Homes.

One scheme is for student developments that are operated and managed
by educational establishments and the second is for private sector
developments.

Licensable HMOs that are owned by educational establishments and are
members of the Educational Establishment Code are exempt from HMO
licensing. Licensable HMOs that are members of the private sector Code
are not exempt from HMO licensing but the government’s department of
Communities and Local Government advise local authorities to discount
their HMO licence fee for Code members.

Further details are available from: www.anuk.org.uk/LargeCode/

2.15.4 UUK Code of Practice

Universities UK (UUK) administers one Government approved national                  scheme for buildings controlled and managed by educational
establishments. This Code has the same purpose as the Codes mentioned
above.

Further details are available from: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/
policyandresearch/guidance/accommodationcodeofpractice/pages/
information-for-students.aspx