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Administrative procedures

General Administration

1 Reading Borough Council will manage and administer the RRWC scheme. As such Reading Borough Council reserves the right to alter, amend or terminate the RRWC scheme at its sole discretion. Any changes will be notified to members as soon as reasonably practicable.

1.1 Members may withdraw from the scheme at any time by giving 2 weeks' notice to Reading Borough Council. No reimbursement of fees will be made if the member decides to withdraw from the scheme.

1.2 Membership of the RRWC scheme requires members to adhere to the Terms of Membership prior to becoming a member, applicants with be asked to read and sign a declaration to this effect.

Approval and Monitoring

2 Approval: An application for approval to participate in the RRWC scheme must be made by a letting/management agent or landlord in the prescribed application form.  The application will be acknowledged by Reading Borough Council within 7 working days of receipt at its offices. Applications will not be processed until the full fee is received. In deciding whether an applicant is suitable for membership of the RRWC scheme, including determining the banding (Bronze, Silver or Gold) within the RRWC scheme to be awarded to them, Reading Borough Council will apply the criteria in Appendix A and B in accordance with the following procedure.

2.1 We aim to process your application within 12 weeks but there may be delays at times of peak demand on our service. Please note that we deal with applications in order that a complete application is received, including all necessary supporting documents.

2.2 An initial audit of each applicant will be carried out to monitor compliance with relevant legislation and the Terms of Membership. This may include inspection of properties, relevant business documents, procedures, etc. You agree to the audit and property inspections and will co-operate with the inspecting officer in providing access to all relevant properties, records and processes.

2.3 We will inspect a percentage of rented residential premises and the amount of premises we inspect will depend on your property portfolio size. (10% of your total portfolio chosen at random by us, if this number exceeds 50 properties then we will inspect 5% of the remainder e.g. 900 properties in your total portfolio, 10% = 90 (this exceeds 50) so we inspect an additional 5% of the remaining 40 = 8. We would therefore inspect 58 properties in total. We will inspect a minimum of 1 property per member. We may decide to inspect more properties at our discretion.

2.4 In addition to the initial approval, you may thereafter be subject to random inspections and checks by us to ensure the requirements of the scheme continue to be met.

2.5 An assessment of previous complaints made to Reading Borough Council may be carried out. This may involve seeking further information from any complainants concerned.

2.6 Where deemed appropriate we reserve the right to consult with any other regulatory agency concerning your fitness to be a member of the RRWC scheme.

2.7 If your application for membership is successful you will be informed in writing that you have become a member and the banding that you have been awarded. Your membership will last for 2 years from the date of your approval letter.

2.8 If your application for membership is unsuccessful you will be informed in writing of reasons for this.

2.9 If your application for membership is refused or you disagree with the banding you have been awarded then you a right to appeal. Further details on these procedures can be found in the document Appeals and Contravention of Standards Procedure under Sections 2 and 3.

2.10 Monitoring: Reading Borough Council will continue to monitor the suitability of members throughout the term of their membership.

2.11 Members and their properties will be audited every two years.

2.12 On receipt of a complaint form from a third party about a member of the RRWC scheme, we will assess the complaint and determine if a re-audit is necessary. This may involve seeking further information from the third party.

2.13 Reading Borough Council reserves the right to carry out 'Mystery Shopper' exercises for monitoring purposes.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

You acknowledge that Reading Borough Council is subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and shall provide all necessary assistance and co-operation as reasonably requested by the Council to enable the Council to comply with its obligations thereunder. You acknowledge that Reading Borough Council may be required under the Freedom of Information Act to disclose information concerning your membership of the RRWC scheme (including commercially sensitive information) without consulting you or obtaining your consent. Where appropriate, Reading Borough Council will draw the disclosure to your attention after any disclosure has been made. Reading Borough Council shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion whether any information relating to your membership of the RRWC scheme is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

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