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Detailed banding criteria for Reading Rent with Confidence scheme

Bronze criteria

To achieve the Bronze rating, the landlord must meet the following standards:

Gas and Electrical Safety

Annual gas safety checks to be undertaken by a gas safe registered installer (Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and certificates to be provided to tenants and Reading Borough Council on request.

Electrical checks and certificates to be provided to Reading Borough Council every 5 years and carried out by a member of the NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT, BSI or BRE competent persons scheme under Part P.

Energy Performance

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) minimum standard of 'E for all properties and certificate provided to tenant at the beginning of their tenancy (The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations 2007) and to Reading Borough Council on request.

Houses of Multiple Occupation ("HMO")

If you have a property that is a HMO and needs to be licensed, then it must have a HMO license. Currently, HMOs that require a license are those with three or more storeys and five or more tenants. If you are unsure whether or not you require a HMO license for your property, then please call 0118 9372151 or email HMO@reading.gov.uk for more information and advice.

Hazards and Repairs

Properties are to be free of Category 1 hazards as set out in the Housing Act 2004. We (Reading Borough Council) will use the HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System) to assess if a property contains a Category 1 hazard. A numerical score which is greater than 1000 means it is a Category 1 hazard. 

Tenancy Agreements

Supply a written tenancy agreement to every new tenant at the beginning of their tenancy, detailing the terms and conditions of their tenancy.

Rent Increase

There is to be no rental increase within a fixed-term tenancy of 12 months or less.

Tenancy Deposit

Landlords or their agents must ensure that all new tenancy deposits are protected in one of the statutory tenancy deposit protection schemes within 30 days of receiving the deposit. Within the same 30 day time limit, the landlord or its agent must provide the tenant, or any other third party that has paid the deposit on the tenant's behalf, with the Prescribed Information about the deposit where it has been lodged together with a copy of the certificate/receipt of Deposit Protection. The Prescribed Information about the deposit must be re-served on the tenant or relevant third party where a new tenancy is created. For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

How to Rent Guide

At the outset of each tenancy, including renewals, the 'How to Rent' guide must be provided to all tenants. For more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

Right to Rent Checks

Prior to letting property landlords or their agents must check prospective tenant has the right to stay in the UK.

A landlord or its agent must comply with the "Right to Rent" checks found at: www.gov.uk/righttorentchecks

Fire Safety

All fire/heat/carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted and checked annually. You will be required to self-verify that the fire safety checks have been carried out.

Good Character of Landlord and Letting/Management Agents

In order to become a member of the RRWC Scheme, landlords must sign a declaration stating they are a fit and proper person, see application form.

To become a member of the RRWC Scheme, the landlord must have:

 

  • No conviction for illegal eviction or harassment of tenants in the last 7 years.
  • No conviction for violence towards any persons in the last 7 years.
  • No conviction for mortgage, Housing Benefit or Council Tax fraud or breach of grant conditions within the last 3 years.
  • No failings to comply with any statutory notice or Housing in Multiple Occupation requirements resulting in prosecution or works being carried out in default in the last 3 years.
  • No breaches of any laws relating to housing, public health or environmental health which would indicate the unsuitability of the applicant under the scheme.
  • No conviction for non-compliance of a Planning Enforcement Notice relating to a residential property within the last 3 years.
  • No practices of unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or disability.
  • No other convictions which would indicate the unsuitability of the applicant under the scheme.

Manager and/or Owner Details

The landlord must supply their or their agent's contact details to each new tenant.

HMO Management Regulations

All HMO properties should comply with the HMO Management Regulations. You should already be aware of these but if you require further information then take a look at the following link - http://www.reading.gov.uk/hmo.

Consumer Protection Regulations

All landlords should comply with applicable Consumer Protection Regulations. You can find out detailed information regarding these at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/319820/Lettings_guidance_CMA31.PDF

Tenant's applications

The landlord must consider all tenants applications prior to completing a financial affordability procedure.

Landlord Insurance

The landlord must have the required landlord insurance in place - adequate insurance including public liability insurance/ landlord insurance (minimum 5 million pounds) and building insurance for full reinstatement value for a wide range of perils.

Silver Criteria

To achieve the Silver rating, the landlord must meet the following criteria in addition to all the Bronze rating criteria.

Rent / Deposit Payments

Will only charge tenants a deposit maximum which is equal to 6 weeks or 1 and a half months' rent.

Property Checks

Complete inspections of property conditions and keep a written record of the checks carried out for all properties.  The recommended minimum is to check a property on 3rd month and the 9th month of the tenancy for a 12 month tenancy. (For longer or shorter tenancies, the frequency of inspections will alter depending on the length of the tenancy e.g. 6 month tenancy, inspect at 12 weeks).

The Council reserves the right to request copies of the inspection reports.

Repair Response Times

Adhere to target response times - emergency works to be responded to within 24 hours. Emergencies include (but are not limited to); no running water, no hot water, blocked drains, collapsed ceilings, fire, flooding, gas leak. 

Respond to all other requests within 5 working days and aim to resolve emergencies within 3 days and non-emergencies within 28 days where possible.

Inventory

Provide a written and recorded inventory for both check-in and check-out to tenants.

Hazards and Repairs

Properties are to be free of Category 1 and 2 hazards as set out in the Housing Act 2004. We (Reading Borough Council) will use the HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System) to assess if a property contains a Category 1 or 2 hazard.

Gold Criteria

To achieve the Gold rating, the landlord must meet the following standards in addition to all the Bronze and Silver rating criteria.

Long-Term Tenancy Agreements

Agree to provide long-term tenancy agreements to those tenants who request it; subject to the prospective tenants being suitable and where a property is available (e.g. 2 year tenancy). Tenants who are suitable would be those who pass the affordability and reference tests carried out by landlords, letting and management agents.

Please note that if you want to increase the rent within the fixed term period then the tenancy agreement must contain a rent review clause. Rent review clauses which propose a large rent increase or are too vague should be avoided as there are likely to be viewed as an unfair term. It should be clearly set out at the point of signing a tenancy agreement what any rent increase would be.

Landlord Accreditation/Association

Landlords are required to be members of a landlord accreditation scheme e.g. National Landlord Association (NLA), Residential Landlord Association (RLA) or any other landlord association scheme.

Good Decorative Repair

Landlords are required to ensure that their properties are in good decorative repair throughout.

Furnishings and Appliances

Landlords are required to ensure that all furnishings and appliances that they have provided to tenants are in good condition and proper working order.
 

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