GOLD CHARTER – Foundation Principles:

1.  Landlords will do all that the law expects, in full and in good time.

                                                                                 (See Bronze Charter for details)

2   Landlords will always act in a fair, honest and reasonable way in all their dealings with the tenant.

                                                                                (See Bronze Charter for details)

In addition to these two principles, which form the foundation of our Charters, there are four further principles to fulfil for the Silver or Gold Charters:

  • Security
  • Reasonable rents and costs
  • Quality of the property
  • Positive tenancy endings

GOLD CHARTER PRINCIPLES

Note: Alternative ways can be agreed with ELA to fulfil the four Charter Principles.

1  Providing security

  • After the initial six or twelve months of the tenancy’ has ended successfully, the landlord will give the tenant the choice of a further fixed term tenancy of up to three years for security, or a ‘periodic tenancy’ for flexibility.
  • Tenants will not be evicted without acceptable reason – see list below based on Scottish law.
  • Landlords will increase the notice given for a tenant to leave the property by one month for each year the tenant has lived in the property, up to a maximum of six months.

2  Keeping rents and additional costs to a reasonable level

  • Landlords commit to charging rents which are as reasonable as their financial situation allows – aware of the effect high rents have on tenant’s lives.
  • Tenancy agreements will give clear and full information about the responsibilities of both landlord and the tenant, and of any restrictions.
  • Tenants will be given a free copy of a detailed inventory, with photographs, signed and agreed by both landlord and tenant, within 5 working days of the start of the tenancy.
  • Deposits will be returned as quickly as possible (usually within 5 working days) when the tenant moves out – less any deductions covered in the tenancy agreement, with realistic allowance for fair wear and tear.
  • Landlords in England and Wales commit to not using Letting Agents who charge unfair fees to tenants and will not charge any fees to tenants themselves.
  • Rent will not be increased more than once every two years.
  • Three months’ notice will be given of any increase in rent
  • The deposit required will not be more than the equivalent of one month’s rent.
  • Tenants will not be charged for the renewal of tenancy agreements.
  • The tenant will be given the chance to carry out a joint inventory inspection at the start and end of the tenancy.

PLUS!   GOLD CHARTER with DIAMOND STATUS

If the landlord is able to maintain the rent at 80% or less than the market rent for that property, then a Diamond will be added to the Gold Charter.

3  Providing decent and energy efficient properties

  • A Decent Home (using the Decent Home Standard as a guide)
    • Free from Health & Safety Hazards
    • In a good state of repair
    • Reasonably modern facilities and services
    • Providing a reasonable degree of thermal comfort
  • Any repairs will be carried out promptly – see Repair Timescales.
  • Electrical wiring and any appliances provided will be in a safe, operational condition, free from breakages and defects, and securely fitted.
  • A check on the electrical installation will be carried out at least every five years by a qualified electrician and a copy of their report provided to the tenant.
  • The property will be reasonably secure from entry by intruders, with suitable locks on all doors and windows accessible from outside.
  • Regular checks will be made on health & safety, including fire safety.
  • The landlord will carry out a planned programme to improve the energy efficiency of the building, as far as reasonably practicable.
  • There will also be a planned programme for maintenance and improvements, carried out as far as possible at times which are convenient for the tenant.

4  Working for positive tenancy endings

  • The landlord will try to resolve disagreements with tenants informally before taking legal action.
  • Before starting court action the tenant will be told of any breach of the tenancy agreement which is being used as a basis for legal proceedings.
  • The landlord will not refuse a tenant a reference for the purpose of securing a new tenancy, without good cause.
  • The tenancy will not be ended without good reason, as set out in the table based on Scottish Law.
  • If the landlord has good reason to end the tenancy, other than the unlawful or otherwise unreasonable behaviour of the tenant, they will offer the tenant an alternative suitable property if they are able to do so.

Repair Timescales once a fault has been reported

Emergency Repairs

Defined as affecting health or safety, eg major electrical fault, blocked WC.  Repair carried out within 24 hours

Urgent Repairs

Defined as affecting material comfort, eg hot water, heating, fridge failure, serious roof leak.  Repairs carried out within 5 working days

Non Urgent Repairs

Anything that does not fall into the two former categories that do not affect health and safety or material comfort. Repairs carried out in 20 working days.

 

Acceptable Reasons to end a Tenancy

Tenants Conduct

  • Tenant is not occupying the property
  • Tenant has breached the tenancy agreement
  • Rent is in arrears or often late.
  • Tenant has a relevant criminal conviction
  • Tenant displays relevant anti-social behaviour.

Where the property is required for another purpose

  • Landlord intends to sell or refurbish.
  • Property is to be sold by the lender.
  • Landlord or family member to live there
  • Property is to be used for non-residential purpose.

Where there has been a change in the tenant’s status

  • Tenant is no longer an employee of landlord
  • Tenant is no longer a student & property is purpose-built student accommodation.

Tenancy cannot legally continue

  • Landlord’s registration ceased.
  • Landlord’s HMO licence revoked.
  • Landlord has been issued with an over-crowding notice.

Ethical Landlords Association
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