The City Council in Exeter has launched an incentive that aims to increase the standard of student living. They are offering landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) a discount of £125 to license their properties so long as they sign up to an accreditation scheme.
Tricia Punchard, assistant director of Residences at the University of Exeter, said: "Working in partnership with Exeter City Council, the University of Exeter and the Students' Guild, are committed to promoting the accreditation scheme. We are actively encouraging student landlords to make the most of this incentive and sign up to the scheme to secure minimum standards for privately rented student accommodation in Exeter. "
She continues: "The scheme is voluntary for landlords to join, however, this is a significant and positive move to ensuring the student living experience is consistent and of high quality across the city."
Unipol/AfS is a nation-wide accreditation scheme that was developed in order to assist students decisions regarding housing; it ensures that all accredited properties meet legal standards and perform checks to guarantee housing that is safe, clean and suitable for student study. It also offers landlords great exposure and even preferential advertising for their properties, as well as promoting a fair and balanced letting market within the student sector.
Landlords are expected to meet accreditation requirements by allowing random checks to take place every three years, and those that don't can lose their accreditation.
The Students' Guild aim to ensure that the annual Housing Fair will only be open to accredited landlords in the not-so-far future.