For a local authority, there may be a simple alternative to developing its own scheme. If there is a bona fide independent operator already running an accreditation scheme within the local administrative boundaries, it is a good idea to evaluate its operations and effectiveness with a view to awarding formal endorsement as ‘local authority-approved’. Criteria for determining whether a scheme warrants endorsement should include:
- a satisfactory code of standards/practice/conduct
- sufficient resources to operate a scheme effectively
- a satisfactory mechanism to undertake compliance checking, complaint investigation and disciplinary action
ANUK PROTOCOL AGREEMENT
ENDORSEMENT BY THE AUTHORITY OF AN ACCREDITATION SCHEME
All members of the accreditation scheme will comply with the requirements of its Code of Practice.
Any member not complying with the Code will be expelled from the scheme.
The Authority will endorse the scheme in respect of property, management and personal professional standards.
The Authority will promote membership of the scheme and provide positive publicity.
Names of all members of the endorsed scheme will be provided to the Authority if requested.
In the event that the Authority find the condition of a property owned by a member of the accreditation scheme, its management or the personal conduct of the member to be substandard within the requirements of the scheme, details will be referred to the scheme’s management board for their investigation and remedial action. This is without prejudice to the Authority taking enforcement action against the landlord concerned.
The Authority will inform tenants when referrals have been made. Tenants will retain the right to require the local authority to undertake enforcement action in cases where there is a breach of statute.
If the Authority makes regular referrals of a particular accredited landlord, thus indicating general non-compliance with the scheme, the scheme operator will undertake a check of a proportion of the member’s property portfolio and take appropriate remedial/disciplinary action should there be a lack of cooperation.
The endorsed scheme will include the adoption of agreed best practice by members of the scheme, not simply compliance with minimum standards.
The operator of the endorsed scheme will be a consultee of the Authority in the setting and review of property, management and standards of conduct.
The scheme operator will provide details of and operate to the Authority’s satisfaction, a system for monitoring the compliance of the Code of Practice by its members and for taking disciplinary action for non-compliance.
The scheme operator must satisfy the authority that it can provide adequate resources to monitor compliance with the requirements of its scheme and take disciplinary action if needed.
The Authority and scheme operator reserve the right to discontinue the protocol agreement upon giving notice to the other party.
Signed ………………………………………………… Chief Housing Officer [Date]
Signed ………………………………………………… Chair of the Accreditation Scheme Management Board [Date]