The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer recently attended an event organised by Sunderland City Council to promote its Accredited Landlord's Scheme, a new partnership launched to improve and maintain standards of accommodation in the private rented sector. Christopher spoke about the importance of the redress scheme explaining what TPO represents, how he operates and his role as the Ombudsman.
Christopher comments: “These types of schemes are vital in helping to raise standards and improving industry best practice, informing landlords and agents of the legal developments affecting their businesses and emphasising the importance of dealing with consumer dissatisfaction in a structured way. The private rented sector is continuing to grow at a rapid pace and landlords as well as letting agents need to meet all current housing demands, and know and understand up-to-date legislation, regulations and the standards they should follow. The Sunderland Accredited Landlord’s scheme has been very welcomed in the area and many cities are now looking to promote such schemes.
With all letting agents in England now legally required to register with an approved redress scheme, letting agents are more accountable than ever before to both landlords and tenants when it comes to dealing with tenancies. Educating landlords about their responsibilities through localised schemes will help maintain consistent standards, as well as helping to improve the landlords’ relationship with an agent.”
The Property Ombudsman scheme has been operating throughout the UK for 25 years. TPO’s Codes of Practice are comprehensive and cover all aspects of the latest property and consumer laws, and all of them have received Consumer Code Approval from The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), a hallmark for excellent consumer protection. The only way an agent can display a CTSI logo is through membership of an organisation whose code of practice has passed a stringent two-stage process to gain independent accreditation. Agents signed up as a TPO member can display the CTSI approved code logo which will assure consumers that they are following the highest industry standards.
Christopher continues: “We work very closely with The Chartered Trading Standards Institute to support standards within the housing industry in the UK.”
Commenting on the event in Sunderland, Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Alan Emerson said: "I'm delighted that Mr Hamer asked to join us at the event to learn more about the voluntary Sunderland Accredited Landlord scheme, which is successfully helping us work in partnership with landlords to raise the standard of accommodation within the private rented sector.
“There are a large number of people living in rented accommodation in this part of the city, and we want to work with both tenants and landlords to help make sure that expected standards of housing maintenance and property management are being achieved. The Accreditation Scheme was introduced after talking to landlords to identify their concerns, and then deciding how we can best work together to address them through providing the practical advice and support necessary.