Tenant rating system could help people with vulnerabilities find accommodation
The National Landlords Association believe that by granting prospective tenants with a rating of green, amber or red depending on their behaviour, landlords will be more willing to provide the tenant with support.
They believe that this would make landlords more confident in letting their properties to people who have vulnerabilities. The suggestion is based upon a scheme by Hartlepool Council so that people with vulnerabilities who have been unable to get landlord references after they have left prison or been homeless get a chance of finding a property, reports Inside Housing.
The Hartlepool scheme has been in place since 2008 and now the NLA is calling for more councils to adopt a similar approach due to the Localism Act 2011 allowing council to discharge their homeless duty into the private rented sector.
Prospective tenants can apply to the council for membership of the scheme and depending on their behaviour are given a card which represents a different type of membership; green is a full membership, amber is a provisional membership and red is rejected membership.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, told Inside Housing: “We’ve been encouraging other local authorities to do something similar [to Hartlepool’s programme].”
Linda Igoe, housing advice manager at Hartlepool Council, said the scheme was designed to help landlords sustain tenancies – for example, by flagging up a history of arrears so the council can determine if housing benefit should be paid directly to the landlord.
Other councils have similar programmes, such as Middlesbrough Council’s ‘Shield’ scheme, which vets tenants and informs landlords if they have committed anti-social behaviour.
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