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New Scheme Focuses To Improve Property Management Of Rented Homes

Published on: 1 Nov, 2014
Updated on: 1 Nov, 2014

A new accreditation scheme, to raise housing standards and improve property management is a step closer, after an outline proposal was agreed at Guildford Borough’s Council’s latest Executive meeting.

Measures to improve areas of concern including waste recycling, maintenance of gardens and parking will also be explored.

Rubbish piles up in Guildford Park Avenue.

Rubbish piles up in Guildford Park Avenue.

The announcement comes as residents in Guildford Park Avenue have once again been recently frustrated by rubbish and other waste piling up – possibly being discarded by some of those who are tenants in the area.

The Guildford Dragon has heard that there are similar problems in other areas of the borough too.

The council acknowledges that the growth in the private rented sector has seen a substantial increase in the number of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) in the borough over the last 10 years.

The council states that HMOs provide homes to an estimated 9,000 residents, including people working in the local economy and vital public services. There are concerns about how some are managed and the impact that concentrations of HMOs can have on a local community.

Earlier this year, the council’s customer and community scrutiny committee conducted a study of the impact of concentrations of HMOs on local communities and the standard of accommodation.

The committee’s review recommended some practical steps for dealing with some of the issues and the introduction of a landlord accreditation scheme. Key stakeholders including tenants, landlords, local residents, letting agents, and local education establishments gave their views as part of the investigation.

Cllr Caroline Reeves, who chairs of the task and finish group, that led the investigation said: “Councillors have been aware of on-going problems around HMOs in certain parts of the borough, mainly in the town, so it was very encouraging to have such strong feedback from the wide range of stakeholders that we contacted through the review.

“The private rented sector will continue to expand and it is vital that we have a method to ensure that we can encourage good community relations between tenants and neighbours, as well as supporting the best working practices for landlords and agents. Through the involvement of all of the various stakeholders, we aim to make this accreditation scheme a simple but viable long-term solution to the problems.”

Cllr Sarah Creedy, lead councillor for housing and social welfare added: “It’s important to realise that people live in shared properties for a number of reasons. They may be students, but we also have a high number of young professionals, service and office workers who wish to live in town to be near their work place, or need to share a home because of rising rent levels.”

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Responses to New Scheme Focuses To Improve Property Management Of Rented Homes

  1. Very pleased to see this, and to welcome the hard work Cllr Caroline Reeves undertook to chair this review group.

    On the door step I meet many young professionals in poor quality multiple occupancy housing. It is not a students’ prerogative. A recent Priced Out seminar with CPRE said you need to earn a minimum of £70,000 to get a mortgage in Guildford. This is above the national average minimum wage of £28,000 and far out of the reach of many professionals; nurses, police officers, softwear engineers. We must do more to tackle the housing problems in Guildford and ensure there is housing for our children and our childrens’ children in a town we hold so dear.

    At the same time, with so many properties becoming multiple occupancy housing, we must ensure the council can provide the services they need – more bins, updated advice on Environmental Health and support to ensure they adhere to the needs of the community.

    Landlords hold a responsibility to their tenants and the communities in which they run homes. They must play a hands on part in the process and not simply fill homes and disregard impact of such housing.

    Kelly-Marie Blundell is the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Guildford.

  2. Kathryn Waring Reply

    November 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Very good news for many residents, including those in rented accommodation.

  3. Laura Rice Reply

    November 18, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    This is great news, as sometimes there can be confusion as to who responsibility for certain things lies with.

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