At our March members meeting we debated accreditation of landlords and after 3 rounds of voting, we had a majority of those members attending in favour of a local scheme.
Speakers attended from Portsmouth City Council (representing the local authority run scheme), the National Landlords Association (representing national schemes based on CPD (Continuous Professional Development) and the Residential Landlords Association (representing the case for co-regulation - a mix between a voluntary self-management and a legally enforced environment).
Additionally our chair and vice chair both entered the fray arguing pro and anti positions from the landlords perspective.
To compare and contrast the alternatives:
- The current local scheme is voluntary and involves review of both the landlords management expertise and the condition of their propoerties, with the objective of bringing each to a specified standard within 3 years of joining the scheme
- By contrast, the national scheme was also voluntary but very focussed on the skills of the landlord requiring an initial foundation course to be completed followed by at least 8 hours of further education a year
- The co-regulation scheme was possibly the best compromise of all of the approaches discussed but being under development, was also the least tangible and complete of the options. It assumed that local authorities would focus on non-members and flush out the rogues while local or national landlords bodies would administer the co-regulation scheme for their members and manage any disputes that arose between members and tenants whilst ensuring continued education and development of members to ensure ever improving standards.
After the 1st round of voting, there was a greater number of attendees in favour of 'no accreditation of any form' than any of the other options, but the other 3 alternatives collectively out numbered those against accreditation. Indeed, the co-regulation camp at this point was the largest of the pro accreditation groups.
However, the co-regulation votes dropped out in the 3rd round of voting as proponents of co-regulation had to choose between the 2 largest remaining groups: 'No Accreditation' or 'Local Accreditation'.
In the end, 'Local Accreditation' narrowly won and subject to ratification at our AGM next month, that will be the preference and stance of the PDPLA going forward.
The members present appeared to understand the need for ongoing training and the PDPLA hope to be able to work with PCC and other agencies to ensure that the revamped Portsmouth scheme overcomes some of its current weaknesses whilst extending to include some of the advantages of alternative approaches.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.