Landlord accreditation scheme set for Welwyn Hatfield

A LONG-AWAITED landlord accreditation scheme for Times Territory looks set to be given the go-ahead.

Welwyn Hatfield Council and the University of Hertfordshire have agreed in principle to set up a scheme that will hopefully raise accommodation standards for private tenants in the borough.

Under the scheme, properties would be regularly inspected, with responsible landlords rewarded with an official endorsement, and giving tenants greater reassurances over their accommodation.

It should launch in September.

Landlord accreditation in Welwyn Hatfield has been a talking point for several years, as a way of tackling the problem with unsightly, unkept houses in the borough, particularly those leased to students at the Hatfield-based uni.

The problem has often caused rifts between students and long-term residents, with homeowners complaining about messy students, and students saying they are being forced to live in squalor by negligent landlords.

It led to University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union president Nica de Koenigswarter calling for a scheme to be introduced, as previously reported by the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

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This week, a delighted Ms de Koenigswarter said: “I can’t even put into words how happy I am. I’m really glad it’s going to be there, for the general public as well as students.

“It will give students a formal mechanism to hold landlords and estate agents to account, and it should actually make students take more pride in their accommodation.

“My deepest thanks go to the council and university for their work on this project.”

Welwyn Hatfield councillor Roger Trigg, executive member for housing, said: “The scheme will raise the standard of private lettings in the borough.

“Having worked closely with councillor Kim Langley, the lead member for town and gown, we are very pleased to be working in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire to develop this scheme and to improve the experience of residents across the entire borough.”

David Ball, dean of students at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The university is delighted to be working in partnership with the borough council to develop the landlord accreditation scheme. The new scheme will have a positive impact on the quality of rented accommodation in the borough.”