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Council asks landlords to self-declare they are letting safe properties

A council is asking landlords to sign a document declaring they are letting safe and compliant properties.

Dorset council has launched the Safer Renting scheme in Weymouth and Portland: since its launch last year, 75 per cent of landlords who have been contacted have signed up and received bespoke advice and information in return.  

Landlords approached through Safer Renting receive a letter advising them to log their details and complete a form for the property that they let out.  

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They are asked to confirm that they meet common legal requirements such as possessing a current gas safety certificate, electrical condition report and provide a smoke detector on each level of the property.  

Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Health & Housing, Councillor Jane Somper says “This front facing service is helping landlords comply with their legal requirements and improve standards and safety in rented properties. 

“It also means we can target those properties which are rented, but where the landlord has not told us about the conditions and can act accordingly.  

“I would appeal to landlords in Weymouth and Portland to complete the online form on our website if they haven’t already done so, to be sure they are complying with the law.” 

The council is warning that if a landlord fails to complete the form, it may arrange to inspect the property. 

When landlords have submitted their information, the council will send a confirmation email as well as bespoke advice on how to achieve full compliance.  

This could be anything from a checklist of required certificates and paperwork to more specific advice based on what information the landlord has submitted. 

“In some cases, the council and landlord will agree that an inspection is necessary to help resolve any issues” says a council statement.

The Safer Renting scheme also links landlords to a council forum called Dorset Landlords.

Currently, Safer Renting is a pilot scheme in Weymouth and Portland where there are large numbers of rented properties but is likely to be extended to other parts of Dorset in the future. 

The council claims Safer Renting “is not a registration or licensing scheme but seeks to work with landlords to help them comply with a range of legislation.”

And it adds: “Through schemes like Safer Renting and Dorset Landlords the council is working proactively to raise standards and encourage best practice in rented properties.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • John  Bentley

    If it's instead of an expensive license scheme then I'm In favour. Keeps costs down for tennants.

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    • A JR
    • 23 February 2024 09:29 AM

    Normally i would agree.
    Fact is, i simply dont trust councils to do anything other than give private landlords/PRS a hard time.

     
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    It will probably void our Insurance Policies if anything happens. Heaven’s knows there’s so many exclusions already another 5 added this year, getting very close to a non Insurance policy hidden in 48 pages of documentation.

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    Call me cynical and very wary ..is this an easy way for councils to fine you massively if there is any kind of an issue? Don't get me wrong, we know our obligations and the majority abide by them, I'm thinking/hoping..
    Why are landlords signing it, I need more info, does it benefit them in some way?

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    Stops the council inspecting your property?

     
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    Interesting. How do they know who landlords in their area are, to approach them in the first place? As far as I know I am not on any list of landlords as I don't have any HMOs or other properties that require a licence. That said all mine are fine so I'd have no problem completing a form and it's less intrusive than the landlord register being proposed. Also a member of 2 local landlords associations so they could promote their scheme via those.

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    If only we had some sort of system of rules or laws that we should follow, and then if we didn’t we could be prosecuted for breaching those laws. Oh, wait a minute, we already do? Then why all these dumb schemes?

    Maybe they could ask people to fill out a questionnaire to self declare to the police that they haven’t done any robberies, burglaries or mugging in the last 12 months. And then target all those that didn’t self declare themselves to be complying with the law.

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    • A JR
    • 23 February 2024 09:31 AM

    Love it, great post!

     
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    My properties were all perfectly safe when I last inspected them but I without far more frequent inspections I can't commit that they will remain perfectly safe as they are under the control of the tenants for months on end.

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    Maybe under control of tenants for life.

     
  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    What a pointless exercise! I wonder who picks up the cost of administrating that nonsense? And who has sight of it? wouldnt trust that and would not sign anything. I imagine it could be used against the landlord in various ways including an insurer not paying out? No thanks. Keep Councils at arms length wherever possible.

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    So they should.

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    19 councils bankrupt as Edwin as stated and here you are still banging on with your socialist nonsense. It doesn’t work and the government will find that out by going woke and left.

    Country is fkd completely but as long as someone is paying your rent you don’t give a fk..!

     
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    Sandra Bowes-Rennox, several councils have hone bankrupt, and adult social care support is being slashed. I understand you figure as one of those people, how will it affect you.

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