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