Ethical lettings charter to be adopted as council bows to protesters

A new scheme for letting agents and landlords across one of Britain’s major cities has been announced, following a series of demonstrations.

Agents who sign up to it may have to voluntarily agree to stop charging fees to tenants.

Acorn, which would also like to see rent controls, has organised ongoing protests at agents’ premises.

Its supporters were again out in force before a cabinet meeting on Tuesday night of Bristol City Council.

At the rally, they chanted: “I don’t know what I’ve been told – they rent houses full of mould.”

Bristol mayor George Ferguson announced the adoption of an “ethical lettings charter”.

This will encourage minimum standards in properties.

The voluntary scheme will encourage participating landlords and agents to achieve bronze, silver or gold standard.

Ferguson told Acorn protesters: “There is one thing that absolutely riles me and that is the misuse by some landlords and agents of the deposits system.

“We must all unite to make sure we reduce that exploitation – I’m absolutely with you to tackle that abuse.”

Acorn’s activities in Bristol included a Halloween “trick or treat” demonstration at estate agents’ offices last year.

The original ethical lettings charter is likely to be amended by Bristol City Council, which says it wants to see a “few improvements” to make it legally watertight.

The final charter is likely to be launched next month.

In its original form, it calls for:

  • An end to rolling tenancies
  • Reasonable notice periods for repossessions
  • All deposits protected
  • An end to letting agent fees charged to tenants
  • DSS welcome
  • Pledge to control when and how much rent rises
  • Reasonable deposits
  • Repairs done quickly and properly
  • Damp dealt with
  • Regular safety checks on appliances and utilities
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
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6 Comments

  1. fluter

    And what will tenants do in return?

     

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    1. MF

      Presumably as a minimum they will make sure their rent is paid no matter what, and ensure that any mould growth is not caused by excess condensation.

      Interesting to note they are calling for an end to rolling tenancies.  In other words, they require the security of the fixed term provided by a tenancy agreement.  I’ve heard from some quarters that us agents only offer those to “cash in” on the renewal fees, and that most tenants would be perfectly happy with a rolling tenancy.

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  2. seenitall

    what do these people smoke?   and clearly they are blowing this up up the councils backside for them to take them seriously.

     

    Deposits must by law be protected

    Deregulation act and landlord and tenant act for repairs

    Smoke and CO alarms are required by law

    Gas and electrical checks are required by law

    2 months notice as a min is required by Law is reasonable notice

    so all the really important things they are calling for are already Law.

    In addition they want:

    Rolling Contracts, Rent Caps, no agency fees, DSS welcome, how about bankruptcys and bad credit ratings welcome? how about when they dont pay their rent or damage the property, how about the landlord making some profit from their investment, how about the agency staying in business to market and process these tenants?

    They are fekking bonkers.  Nuff Said

     

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  3. Woodentop

    I note is says “In its original form, it calls for:” As an ethical landlord and managing agent I for one can pick holes in the charter making it unworkable and knee jerk political reaction without actually thinking what is involved. All seems very biased in favour of the tenant, what a surprise! We will have to wait and see if “its original form” actually gets changed.

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  4. ray comer

    the local council won’t be so pleased with themselves once local landlords start selling their stock to invest in a more profitable arena

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  5. Woodentop

    Bite the hands that feeds, comes to mind. Tunnel vision.

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