February 23, 2024 9:18 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

A local council is encouraging landlords to commit to ensuring the safety and compliance of their rental properties by signing a dedicated document. This initiative, known as the Safer Renting scheme, has been implemented by Dorset council in the areas of Weymouth and Portland. Since its introduction last year, a substantial 75% of landlords who have been approached about the scheme have willingly signed up. In return for their commitment, participating landlords receive tailored advice and information to enhance the overall safety and compliance standards of their rental properties. This collaborative effort aims to foster a secure and compliant rental environment within the community.

The Safer Renting scheme, spearheaded by Dorset council, serves as a proactive measure to ensure that rental properties meet essential safety and compliance standards. Landlords approached for participation in this initiative are requested to sign a document, affirming their dedication to providing safe and compliant housing. Notably, since the scheme’s launch last year in Weymouth and Portland, an encouraging 75% of landlords have willingly joined, demonstrating a positive response from the local rental property community. As part of this scheme, landlords who commit to these standards receive personalized advice and information, fostering an environment where the well-being of tenants is prioritized. This collaborative approach reflects a commitment to elevating the overall quality and safety of rental housing in the region.

Landlords approached through the Safer Renting initiative receive a comprehensive letter urging them to actively engage in the process by logging their details and completing a detailed form for each property they rent out. This step is instrumental in ensuring transparency and accountability in the rental sector. The documentation process involves a confirmation of meeting essential legal requirements, such as possessing a current gas safety certificate, conducting an electrical condition report, and ensuring the installation of smoke detectors on every level of the property.

The initiative aims to establish a straightforward and transparent framework for landlords, streamlining their compliance with legal obligations. By facilitating a structured process for landlords to confirm adherence to safety standards, the Safer Renting scheme not only provides a valuable service but also serves as a proactive measure in improving the overall safety and standards of rented properties. This approach fosters a collaborative relationship between the council and landlords, emphasizing the importance of meeting legal requirements for the benefit of both property owners and tenants.

Councillor Jane Somper, the Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Health & Housing, underscores the significance of this front-facing service in the rental sector. The initiative is designed not only to ensure compliance with legal obligations but also to elevate the standards and safety of rented accommodations. By actively involving landlords in the process and offering tailored advice and information, the Safer Renting scheme contributes to a positive and responsible landlord-tenant relationship while simultaneously enhancing the overall quality of rental properties within the community.

“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 emphasizes the importance of completion, cautioning landlords that failing to fill out the provided form may lead to the initiation of a property inspection. Once landlords have submitted their information, the council ensures prompt communication by sending a confirmation email. Alongside this confirmation, landlords receive bespoke advice tailored to their property, offering guidance on achieving full compliance.

This personalized advice may encompass a comprehensive checklist outlining the required certificates and paperwork. Alternatively, the guidance can be more specific, addressing particular aspects based on the information submitted by the landlord. The council underlines the collaborative nature of this approach, indicating that in certain situations, both parties may mutually agree that a property inspection is necessary. This cooperative process aims to foster adherence to legal standards and elevate the overall safety and compliance standards within the realm of rented properties.

The Safer Renting initiative facilitates a connection between landlords and the Dorset Landlords forum, a council-sponsored platform. Operating as a pilot scheme in Weymouth and Portland, areas with a substantial rental property presence, Safer Renting is positioned for potential expansion to other parts of Dorset in the future. The council clarifies that Safer Renting is not a registration or licensing scheme; instead, it aims to collaboratively engage with landlords to ensure compliance with various legislation requirements.

The council emphasizes the proactive nature of initiatives like Safer Renting and Dorset Landlords, aiming to elevate standards and promote best practices within the realm of rented properties. By fostering cooperation and providing valuable connections to resources like the Dorset Landlords forum, these schemes work towards enhancing overall compliance and operational excellence in the rental property sector.




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