Cheshire West and Chester Council is keen to improve housing standards across the private rented sector.

The Cheshire Landlord Accreditation Scheme was first set up in 2010, aiming to improve housing standards across Cheshire and Warrington and ensure that landlords and letting agents become part of a scheme that recognises good landlords and letting agents from bad ones.

The scheme was recently reviewed as part of a consultation exercise with landlords and letting agents.

Cllr Angela Claydon, Cabinet member for housing, said: “We are keen to work with the private rented sector to improve housing standards; we have listened to what landlords want from the scheme.

“They told us the scheme needed to be brought up to date to allow letting agents to become accredited and there also needed to be more benefits available to those landlords and letting agents that joined the scheme.

“The scheme identifies landlords and letting agents who provide good housing management and property standards by giving them a market advantage over the non-accredited landlords. The scheme is free and is easy to join.”

Once accredited, landlords and letting agents will be able to access a range of benefits including: discounted repairs and maintenance services, reduced HMO fees, free ongoing advice and support, access to landlord training and events plus free advertising of vacant properties.

All landlords and letting agents who are part of the scheme will have demonstrated that they will provide tenants with a good quality home which is well managed. Tenants and prospective tenants are being urged to ask their landlord or letting agent if they are accredited with the scheme.

If you are a prospective tenant, you should look out for the schemes logo before you sign any tenancy agreement with a landlord or letting agent.

If you are a landlord or letting agent wishing to join the scheme and require further information, please email or telephone: 0300 123 7038.