A NEW rental website has been set up to crack down on unscrupulous landlords in Portsmouth.
The city has seen an increase in the number of rogue landlords operating across the area over the past few years and now the city council has set up its own rental website in response.
Rent it Right offers a service akin to popular online property websites Rightmove and SpareRoom in which potential tenants can look for properties to rent.
However, the slick new site comes with a difference as all landlords are vetted and approved by the council’s landlord accreditation scheme, with only properties that are of a high standard listed, free of household problems such as mould or damp.
Bruce Lomax, the council’s private sector housing manager, said: ‘We have created the site as a response to the number of rogue landlords operating out there, not just in Portsmouth but across the UK.
‘Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of landlords who have no regard for their tenants or the wider community around them, seeking only to make money in what is a very buoyant private rental market. Once a rogue landlord is identified my team works hard to trace them and enforcement action is normally taken, but in some instances this action could be to the detriment of tenants resulting in loss of rent or deposit.
‘The level of accommodation within Portsmouth varies greatly and, sadly, our private sector housing team still have to tackle sub-standard housing and rogue practices on a regular basis.’
All listings on the site will include detailed information about the properties and the available facilities.
Landlords who sign up to the scheme provide the council with a full list of properties they own or manage, allow access for inspections and checks to be carried out and have to ensure the properties meet requirements.
Councillor Jennie Brent, cabinet member for housing, at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Rent it Right will provide those looking for a property in the city with a safe and easy way to find a good quality home, with a landlord they can trust.
‘Unfortunately there are a minority of landlords out there who ruin this by failing to meet healthy living standards, or by ignoring or worse, mistreating their tenants.’
The council launched their landlord accreditation scheme (LAS) back in 2010 to recognise the importance of landlords’ good practice.
An estimated 81 per cent of Portsmouth’s 207,000 residents live in the private homes, either as owner-occupiers or renters.
Head to rentitright.co.uk to visit the new site.