Landlords in Middlesbrough can sign up to the Tenancy Referencing Service to help find suitable tenants for their properties.
Benefits of membership
Firstly, landlords can advertise their properties free of charge with photographs and a brief description by registering on the Lets Help You website. Agencies across Middlesbrough are now encouraging potential tenants to use this website to find a suitable property.
Secondly, the Tenancy Referencing Service offers a 'one-stop' service to help landlords find suitable tenants, with a robust two tier referencing service.
Types of referencing
Basic ASB check and current tenancy check reference - returned within 1 to 2 days
Tenancy Relations Officers will check for any reports of anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance, property damage, property breaches, environmental health issues, and police intelligence, relating to the applicant, their dependants, or the person making the tenancy application, or against any addresses linked to the applicant.
Previous 2 year reference - returned within 3 to 5 days
The scheme will check the tenant's housing history for the past two years using our records, our partner's records, and those of any current and previous landlords. These records may include, but not be limited to, any complaints of anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, rent arrears, damage to property, abandonment of property, breach of tenancy conditions, court orders, housing benefit information, environmental health actions/enforcement actions, police intelligence, illegal use of property, and / or criminal behaviour which is deemed to be relevant to tenancy management. If the applicant/s have lived out of the area, or within any other local authority, an ASB check is conducted with the local authority.
Middlesbrough Tenancy Referencing Service does NOT carry out criminal record checks.
Traffic light system
A traffic light system is used to simply explain the results of the references check, enabling landlords to make an informed choice about whether or not to allocate a tenancy.
- Green: indicates no issues.
- Amber: may indicate that there has been no previous tenancy held, or there may have been some minor tenancy issues or rent arrears.
- Red: indicates evidence of eviction, anti-social behaviour, or high rent arrears.
If you have any queries about the Tenancy Referencing Service please contact the Neighbourhood Safety Team via the council's Contact Centre on 01642 245432.
Whilst the local authority acknowledges that people need somewhere to live, the Tenancy Referencing Service would advise that a package of support be put in place if landlords are going to rehouse a 'red' client, in order to prevent any repetition of previous issues and assist in sustaining the new tenancy. Tenancy Relations Officers can recommend various support agencies to landlords seeking advice regarding their tenants.
The team also officers a sign up service, whereby an officer can be a witness at the signing up of new tenants, and offer support to both the landlord and the tenant, explaining sections of the tenancy agreement so that both the landlord and tenant are happy with what they are signing.
Throughout the tenancy, Tenancy Relations Officers will continue to provide support to both landlords and tenants. If there are any complaints of anti-social behaviour, Neighbourhood Safety Officers will support the landlord to resolve the issues. The landlord will be contacted by a Neighbourhood Safety Officer who will discuss the concerns and conduct joint visits, and provide copies of any warning letters sent to the tenant(s). The landlord will also be invited to any interviews where necessary. Should issues of anti-social behaviour persist then assistance can be given in preparing and serving a notice of seeking possession if appropriate. More information regarding anti-social behaviour can be found on the anti-social behaviour page.
A number of incentives are currently available to help eligible landlords improve their properties, including a replacement boiler system, external cladding or loft insulation at a reduced price or in some circumstances free of charge. More information can be found on the Middlesbrough Environment City Website.
Up to date information regarding the new 'Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations' can be found on the GOV.UK website. Cleveland Fire Brigade can also provide free home fire safety checks, free fire alarm installation, and carbon monoxide monitors. More information can be found on the Cleveland Fire Brigade Website.