Code of Conduct

Coventry Landlord Accreditation Scheme logo

Code of Conduct for Landlords, Letting Agents and Managing Agents (in three parts)

Part A: I am a landlord

I declare as a landlord that I will conform to this code being the Coventry Landlords Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) Code of Conduct:

All tenants will be treated with appropriate courtesy and respect.

  1. Relationship with Tenant or Leaseholder: I will not discriminate in my dealings with prospective or existing tenants or treat them less favourably than others because of their colour, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, sex, marital status, sexuality, politics, or their responsibility for dependants.
  2. Access to accommodation. I will, except in case of an emergency, give the tenant reasonable notice (at least 24 hours and in writing, stating reasons) when access to the property is required by myself, a contractor or agent.
  3. Pre-tenancy check:  I will ensure that at the commencement of the tenancy a pre-tenancy check has been completed and that all obligations on the part of the owner in regard to repairs and property maintenance or improvements have been fully discharged or will be discharged by a date agreed with the tenants. Any pre-tenancy repairs or intentions on the part of the landlord to undertake improvements will be confirmed in writing. Ensure all required safety certificates are up to date.
  4. Inventory: I will supply an inventory, indicating the condition of the items where necessary. The inventory will be signed by the myself and countersigned by the tenant once both parties have had an opportunity to check its correctness. Where I employ a managing agent, I will, at the commencement of the letting, personally sign the inventory to my acceptance of the agent’s description of the items listed in the inventory or delegate to the agent in writing responsibility for compiling the inventory and for deciding at the termination of the letting whether all or part of the deposit shall be returned to the tenant.
  5. Fees: I will clearly inform prospective tenants of any fees that may be charged for arranging a letting agreement. I will abide by the requirements placed upon landlords within the Tenants Fees Act 2019 s.1.
  6. Written Rental Agreement: I will provide tenants with a written statement of the terms of their occupancy including rent costs, frequency of payment and an inventory which both parties will check and sign for if I intend to claim for any loss caused by a tenant. Provide all required documentation to the tenant (e.g. Right to rent booklet, EPC, Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical Installation Condition Report)
  7. Receipts:  I will provide a receipt for all the rent payments upon request, if rent is payable other than weekly. Written receipts will be provided for all cash transactions.
  8. Communication with Tenant or Leaseholder: I will acknowledge promptly all written communications received from the tenant and will respond appropriately to telephone or other messages and will, when so requested, provide the tenant with a written statement of their tenancy rental account. I will provide the tenant with a contact telephone number or other means of contacting me or an agent in an emergency;
  9. Breach of Tenancy: Before proceedings are commenced, I will notify the tenant in writing of any breach of the tenancy agreement that is to be used as a basis for legal proceedings against the tenant;
  10. Tenant Treatment: I will not cause harassment to a tenant or instructor undertake any action that involves the tenant being illegally evicted or harassed;
  11. Deposit: When I take a deposit, I will protect it and comply with the legislation and requirements of the deposit scheme. I will provide the tenant with details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme under which their deposit is being held, provide a receipt for deposit paid, provide the tenant with detailed information about what steps they need to take to avoid any part of their deposit being retained at the end of a tenancy and offer to inspect the property at the tenant’s request and give a written explanation to the tenants if any portion of the deposit is retained.
  12. Giving Tenant References: I will not refuse a tenant a reference for the purposes of securing a new tenancy, without good cause.
  13. Receiving Tenant References: I will always seek a reference for prospective tenants.
  14. Housing Benefits: If I assist tenants to complete application forms for Housing costs, I will sign the appropriate part to indicate I have helped complete the form. If any government money for rent is paid directly to me and there is an overpayment, then it shall be repaid to the relevant department once they have notified me of the amount due, subject to my right of appeal. Where part of the rent is paid by government, I will provide a quarterly statement to inform tenants of their outstanding contribution. I will advise my tenants to keep the relevant departments up to date with any changes in their circumstances. If I am aware of changes, I must also notify the relevant departments. I will promptly advise the relevant department when a tenant vacates my property.
  15. Advertising: I will accurately report property details and allow prospective tenants to view the property having due regard to the rights of existing tenants. Advertising boards will be displayed for the no more than the duration it takes to let the property and taken down as soon as possible after a property is let.
  16. Safe and Healthy Accommodation: I aspire to higher standards of accommodation, above set minimum requirements. I will take all reasonable steps to ensure all accommodation I provide will afford a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitor. That it contains no Category 1 hazards, or significant or multiple Category 2 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, is in a satisfactory state of repair, has adequate amenities and meets good standards of management.
  17. Disrepair or Defects. Any disrepair or defects bought to my attention by the tenant for whom I am responsible will be attended to promptly with minimum disturbance to the tenant.
  18. Compliance with Statutory Notices. Subject to statutory rights of appeal, I will comply with all statutory notices served by a local authority.
  19. Licences or Registrations. My properties will hold any necessary property licences or registrations required by law.
  20. Licence conditions: I will ensure that the licence holder has complied with all HMO licence conditions for my properties. Where licence conditions are issued for improvement works, these will be completed within the timeframes indicated on the licence.
  21. Certification Subject to statutes, I shall hold all relevant safety and inspection certificates and reports, and carry out regular servicing of fitting, fixtures, installations or appliances as required in accordance with good practice. Where necessary copies of these will be provided to the tenants.
  22. Energy Efficiency I take responsibility for both the internal & external structural elements of the dwelling Energy Efficiency. All my properties have the current required EPC rating, unless exempt under the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012.
  23. Prompt re-occupation. I will take all reasonable steps to ensure that all properties under my control are occupied as soon as practicable and are in good order before the start of a new tenancy.
  24. Neighbourhoods. I will ensure (where it is within my ability) that the visual appearance of dwellings, outbuildings, gardens, yards and boundaries shall be maintained in a reasonable state so as not to detract from the visual amenity of the area.
  25. Waste. I will ensure that the property has an adequate number of waste receptacles both inside and outside the property. I shall ensure that written arrangements for the storage and disposal of waste from the property are in place and shared with the tenants. These arrangements will set out rules relating to:
    • The sorting into recyclable and non-recyclable litter and storage in each corresponding bin.
    • Placing the wheelie bin for collection on the footpath not more than 24 hours before collection, and removal from the footpath and storage within the curtilage of the property not more than 24 hours after collection.
    • The requirement to decontaminate the recycling bin if it has been rejected for emptying.
    • Making the licence holder or manager aware of excess side waste so that they may make further arrangements to dispose of the waste.
    • The services provided by Coventry City Council or licensed private waste carriers relating to excess waste or bulky waste
  26. Tenants and Accreditation I will inform all my tenants in writing that I am a member of the Scheme and provide them with the Scheme's contact details.
  27. Education. I will take steps to maintain and improve my knowledge of current relevant legislation and good practice.
  28. Updated personal information. I will keep my personal information, which has been provided to the Scheme, up to date, by sending my updated details to CLAS@coventry.gov.uk.
  29. Audit: I will cooperate with Coventry City Councils requests for information, and access to properties for spot checks in relation to the audit of my CLAS accreditation.
  30. Conduct: I will not act in such a manner that brings the Scheme into disrepute. I will adhere to the principles set out in the Private Rented Sector Code of Practice.

Note: All references to an individual in this Code will apply equally to relevant Directors, Partners and/or employees of a Company or business accredited under this scheme.

Part B: I am a letting agent

I declare as a letting agent that I will conform to this code being the Coventry Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) Code of Conduct:

All landlords and tenants will be treated with appropriate courtesy and respect.

  1. Part A of this document. I will apply all the issues in part A above that are consistent with my contract with the landlord or owner for management of property, and should it be necessary to show that I do, the onus shall be on me to correctly identify my areas of responsibility.
  2. Statement of Terms and Conditions. I will provide a written statement of terms and conditions to landlords detailing all the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of the agency agreement.
  3. Information about the Scheme. I will provide all landlords or owners with information about Coventry City Council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme.
  4. Notification of issues requiring attention. Agents who are not responsible for property standards will inform the landlord in writing of any areas requiring attention, or other statutory requirement. However, in the case of a serious risk to anyone's health or safety that the landlord does not make good, I will, when made aware by any occupier, also advise them to notify the local authority. In the event of the occupier being unable to do this I will report the matter on their behalf.
  5. Fees and Charges: I will provide details of all the fees and charges I may make to landlords, tenants and leaseholders for my services. Details include the amount I will charge and the circumstances in which I will charge them. I will abide by the requirements set out in the Tenants Fees Act 2019 s.2. If I arrange contractors to undertake work, I will provide information of any commission I receive from the contractor.
  6. Client Money: (If applicable) I am a member of an approved client money protection scheme and I will supply my membership information to the local authority if requested to do so.
  7. Inventory: I will supply an inventory, indicating the condition of the items where necessary. The inventory will be signed by the landlord/agent and countersigned by the tenant once both parties have had an opportunity to check its correctness.
  8. Complaints: I provide landlords, leaseholders and tenants a complaints procedure and offer a means of redress as I am a member of one of the governments approved redress schemes (if applicable).

Part C: I am a managing agent

I declare as a managing agent that I will conform to this code being the Coventry Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS) Code of Conduct:

All landlords and tenants will be treated with appropriate courtesy and respect.

  1. Part A of this document. I will apply all the issues in part A above that are consistent with my contract with the landlord or owner for management of property, and should it be necessary to show that, the onus shall be on me to correctly identify my areas of responsibility.
  2. Statement of Terms and Conditions. I will provide a written statement of terms and conditions to landlords detailing all the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of the agency agreement.
  3. Information about the Scheme. I will provide all landlords or owners with information about the Scheme and urge them to apply to join the scheme.
  4. Notification of issues requiring attention. Agents who are not responsible for property standards will inform the landlord in writing of any areas requiring attention, or other statutory requirement. However, in the case of a serious risk to anyone's health or safety that the landlord does not make good, I will, when made aware by any occupier, also advise them to notify the local authority. In the event of the occupier being unable to do this I will report the matter on their behalf.
  5. Fees and Charges: I will provide details of all the fees and charges I may make to landlords, tenants and leaseholders for my services. Details include the amount I will charge and the circumstances in which I will charge them. I will abide by the requirements applying to landlords as stated in the Tenants Fees Act 2019 s.1. If I arrange contractors to undertake work, I will provide information of any commission I receive from the contractor. (Please note that under the Tenant Fees Act, a managing agent is considered to be a Landlord and therefore Section 1 provisions apply)
  6. Client Money: I am a member of an approved client money protection scheme and I will supply my membership information to the local authority if requested to do so (if applicable).
  7. Improvement, Repair and Management: I am clear on my responsibilities as agreed with the landlord and will undertake any actions promptly where I have authority to do. Where I do not have responsibility, I will inform the landlord in writing (and by telephone if urgent) of any issues requiring attention, or of unmet statutory requirements. If the landlord fails to rectify matters, I will issue written reminders. However, in the case of a serious risk to anyone's health or safety, I will, when made aware by any occupier, also advise them to notify the local authority. In the event of the occupier being unable to do this I will report the matter on their behalf.
  8. Complaints: I provide landlords, leaseholders and tenants a complaints procedure and offer a means of redress as I am a member of one of the government's approved redress schemes (if applicable).

Definitions

The scheme is the Coventry Landlord Accreditation Scheme (CLAS)

A Landlord is the legal owner(s) of a house, flat or other residential dwelling which is rented, or leased to a tenant or lessee for a fee. A landlord may be an individual, partnerships or limited business.

A Letting Agent is instructed by a landlord and is paid to find a tenant in accordance with the contract they have agreed whether in writing or not, whether they are an individual or business.

A Managing Agent is a person or firm that is appointed by the landlord or owner to manage a house or dwelling on their behalf. The extent of responsibilities is defined by a signed agreement or contract. Under the Tenants Fees Act 2019 a managing agent is considered to be a landlord and therefore Section 1 provisions apply.

Landlords and agents may provide a mix of services. Members of the Accreditation Scheme may at times find they undertake functions contained in the above definitions. Where that is the situation a landlord or agent should comply with the appropriate code section.

Version 13 May 2021