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case study

City of Wolverhampton Council and localpad

Improving property standards and expanding customer choice

Over 1500 properties and 600 landlords engaged with in the first 12 Months
Over 7,000 visitors to the site since launching
Delivering an accessible service - Over 50% of visitors used their mobile or tablet
Easy to recognise and interpret five star rating scheme
Engaging with landlords to build positive relationships and improve standards

In 2016, the City of Wolverhampton Council with Localpad launched their own highly successful, online accreditation scheme, heavily focused on improving standards and encouraging greater customer choice as part of the 'Educate, Encourage and Enforce' approach to ensuring the private rented sector meets the needs of residents.

Why Accreditation?

The private rented sector within Wolverhampton, as elsewhere, is growing, particularly the numbers of individual landlords with small portfolios. As a result, increasing and maintaining housing standard is key, especially as this sector is an important resource for housing vulnerable residents and homeless people in the area.**

How?

They use a five star rating system, developed with partner agencies and landlords, to rate the landlords and their properties. The assessment is based on five key principles:

Property Maintenance
Legal Compliance
Continued Professional Development
Investment in the City

The rating is based on completion of the self-assessment survey and ratings from officers visiting the properties. They only advertise properties and landlords whose rating are 3 stars and above.

"The scheme is going from strength to strength and is revolutionising how we engage with landlords and agents to
offer our vulnerable clients a better housing offer.

Localpad has been the backbone to the scheme and we could not have made the scheme such a huge success in such a short amount time without this software."

Ravi Phull,
City of Wolverhampton

"This 5 star system is both innovative and should make a real difference to improving the quality of private sector rental property in Wolverhampton as we continue to regenerate the city.

This in turn provides health and safety benefits associated with better living conditions."

Lesley Roberts, City of Wolverhampton Council
Strategic Director for Housing*

Why this new style of star rating system?

Using the star rating approach has created a scheme which is easy to recognise and interpret and helps customers to identify the best landlords Rent with Confidence offers much more than just accreditation, it provides a portal to landlords to advertise their properties to customers, property management tools and storage of key documents within the software to engage with landlords.

Allow customers to self-serve

Customers browse the modern, branded, mobile-ready property advertising site using the latest search tools, receive
new property alerts and access advice.

Moving forward

Wolverhampton City Council is looking to expand the system to provide guidance to tenants and for tenants to provide feedback on the quality of properties. They also are extending it to cover Public Health.

Training

As part of ‘Rent with Confidence’ all of their officers are becoming MECC (make every contact count) trained, which will mean their overall inspection regime will be an all encompassing intervention rather than just housing standards.


*http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/10869/Rent-with-Confidence-star-rating-scheme-making-a-mark-in-the-city
**http://wolverhampton.moderngov.co.uk/Data/Cabinet/201306191700/Agenda/Item%208%20-%20Housing%20Strategy%202013-18.pdf

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