This week Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead will launch the Southampton Rental Charter. The charter will aim to raise housing standards for private renters in the city.
The charter is designed to raise awareness of lettings agencies that adhere to good practice and are committed to providing a quality service for both landlords and renters. The charter was set up in response to feedback from Southampton residents and local letting agents. Several Southampton lettings agents well-known to students, including Enfields Estate Agents, Home Hub Southampton, Homelife Lettings, Poswall Lettings, Rodina Investments, Tenant Link, and The Home Agency, have already signed up.
The charter, which is supported by Citizen’s Advice Southampton, Southampton City Council, ARLA and Royston Smith MP, requires lettings agents to clearly publicise all fees and charges, offer an effective complaints procedure, maintain clear communication with landlords and tenants, deal with property repairs swiftly and to ensure that properties are of a decent standard.
Alan Whitehead MP has commented:
“I held a number of public meetings on housing where many of my constituents complained to me about standards in the private rental sector. Issues ranged from unprotected deposits to having requests for essential repairs go unanswered. Representatives from local letting agents were also worried about their reputation being marred by a minority of disreputable agencies. I came up with the idea for this charter in response to both concerns.”
Councillor Dave Shields has publically supported the introduction of a Southampton Rental Charter commenting:
“The needs of the city’s growing private rented sector tenants is a key priority for the City Council…I very much welcome Alan Whitehead’s initiative in launching the Rental Charter which complements work we are carrying out in addressing issues with HMO s.”
Do you think the introduction of a Rental Charter in Southampton will help to resolve the problems students face when renting in the city? Let us know in the comments below.