The Trustees of the TDS Charitable Foundation have announced that the Foundation is seeking expressions of interest from organisations looking to establish a dedicated research centre for the private rented sector in England and Wales. The Foundation works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in the private rented sector.
Making the announcement, Martin Partington, Chair of the Charitable Foundation said
“Since we established the charity in 2013, we’ve been overwhelmed with organisations seeking funding for a whole range of projects, but it has become quite apparent that there is a real gap in proper research in the PRS.”
“The Trustees are concerned that there isn’t a dedicated centre for research and often when information is available, it appears in quite a fragmented way.”
The TDS Charitable Foundation would be interested in receiving proposals for funding a feasibility study as to whether such a centre could be established for England and Wales.
The Foundation is currently welcoming bids for the next round of funding which is open until the end of March 2016. Organisations can download an application form and view the bidding criteria online at www.tdsfoundation.org.uk
We have some funds to give away! Bids must meet the aims of the TDS charity which are set out on the site –apply for funding here.
Deadline for application is the 12th December.
The Rise of the ‘accidental Landlord’
These landlords tend to be inexperienced and do not fully understand the obligations that they have.
Tenants’ rights and responsibilities
This program will help educate and raise awareness of tenant rights and responsibilities.
We will be commissioning learning materials for the training events and invite organisations and individuals who wish to be considered, to contact the Foundation and provide a brief outline of their relevant experience.
Commissioned by the TDS Charitable Foundation, Law for Life has produced a short report assessing the legal information and training resources available for tenants in the private rented sector.
Their initial findings indicate that:
Information and training resources are needed which address the needs of the most vulnerable and least legally capable amongst tenants in the private rented sector;
While there are many information resources available generally, they can be difficult to locate.
Law for Life has recommended:
Producing targeted plain English resources focused on the self-management of problems;
Consolidating the best information resources for private tenants in a specially designated website.
This need for resources occurs in a context in which only “ 40% of people claim to know their rights in relation to housing” and 47% of people would attribute legal issues in housing to ‘bad luck’ rather than recognising them as justiciable issues, while 73% of people with rented housing problems would not seek legal advice or support.
Commenting on the report, Tara Mulqueen of Law for Life said:
“We wanted to address some of the gaps in information and training available for private tenants and community organisations working in the private rented sector, but without reinventing the wheel or duplicating efforts. We think there is a need to make information and training resources easier to understand and more readily accessible. ”
Law for Life works to ensure that everyone has the knowledge, confidence and practical skills they need to secure access to justice. We do this through community-based education and training, research and policy, and through the Advicenow website which provides easy-to-use information on rights and the law for the public. We also support other organisations around the world to help their users make sense of the law through our research, consultancy, and training.
About the TDS Charitable Foundation
Works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in general, and in particular about:
Best practice in the management of private rented housing
Legal rights and obligations of those involved in the provision or management of private rented housing
Using alternative dispute resolution for more efficient and effective resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants.
We are funded mainly by donations from The Dispute Service – a leading tenancy deposit scheme which operates on a non-profit basis across the UK.
Tenant And Landlord Projects Receive £40,000 In Funding From TDS Charitable Foundation
New education projects for tenants and landlords have received almost £40,000 in funding, the TDS Charitable Foundation has announced today.
The Foundation aims to promote education for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector, and to raise standards in the industry.
The projects range from a local youth club helping young care leavers to a nationwide programme for landlord accreditation across the UK.
Warrington Youth Club: £2,374
Warrington Youth Club’s ‘Positive Life Skills’ programme helps young care leavers in their transition from carers to an independent lives. The TDS Charitable Foundation grant will help this hard to reach group as they prepare for their transition to independent living, providing workshops on their rights and responsibilities as tenants.
Young Enterprise and Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG): £20,000
This project will also help young people in their transition into independent living, providing a new financial education teaching resource for 14-19 year olds. The resource will provide young people with information on the housing market, the options available to young people when they leave home and the costs they will need to prepare for.
Unipol Student Homes: £10,112
Unipol is providing a new website for Accreditation Network UK (ANUK). ANUK promotes landlord accreditation programmes across the UK and the improved website, to be managed by Unipol, will include a directory of landlord accreditation schemes and downloadable accreditation handbooks. It will also contribute towards one of their core aims, in the promotion of proper complaints processes to be transparent, rapid, and known to tenants.
NUS Ready to Rent: £17,295
Ready to Rent is a landmark programme equipping student unions with resources to help students in the private rented sector. The funding will be used to extend the programme to Further Education Student Unions. Ready to Rent launched last year with support from the Foundation and has become well established as a resource and training provider.
Chairman of the TDS Charitable Foundation, Professor Martin Partington said;
“We have received a diverse range of interesting new projects aiming to help the ever growing private rented sector. The number of private tenancies recently grew beyond the social sector for the first time in decades so it is vital that tenants, living longer in rented accommodation, and the growing number of landlords investing part time in property, have easy access to information on their rights and obligations.
The projects we are funding are just one way to help raise standards in the sector. I look forward to reading the applications for funding for our next round in September 2015.”
The Foundation is currently welcoming bids for the next round of funding which is open until 15 September 2015. Organisations can download an application form and view the bidding criteria online at www.tdsfoundation.org.uk
Organisations supporting education of tenants and landlords are being offered funding from the TDS Charitable Foundation.
The Foundation, which launched in 2014, has already funded a range of projects across the country including funding for the NUS to train renting students across the country, open door information events for landlords in Bradford, an information campaign by a community radio station in Wolverhampton, and literature on a new landlord licensing scheme in Brent .
The Foundation is offering to fund projects up to £20,000, with the aim of promoting higher standards in the private rented sector through better awareness amongst tenants and landlords.
Chair of the TDS Charitable Foundation Professor Martin Partington said;
“We are especially looking to help inform the growing number of ‘accidental’ landlords, who did not intend to become landlords when they acquired a property. They often have limited knowledge of their responsibilities, leaving both them and their tenants at significant risk.”
It has also announced that it is now looking to commission renting experts to create a package of workshop training material.
Martin Partington continued ;
“We have been overwhelmed in the past year by the number of organisations looking to provide workshops and presentations, so we now aim to provide our own workshop material available to all. We are very keen to hear from individuals and organisations who share our aim of promoting standards in the sector to create training material.”
If you want to help educate landlords and tenants, we want to hear from you.
TDS Charitable Foundation offers funding to projects which advance education about housing rights and obligations, in particular in private rented accommodation.
We are now open to applications, and the form to fill in is here on our site. In addition this year we are now looking to commission experts in the field to produce training materials which TDS Charitable Foundation will make available to all those who want to help inform tenants and landlords – if you think you have the expertise we want to hear from you.
Can you help?
It is likely that this work will involve taking an established guide/handbook on tenants and landlords rights and responsibilities and producing a trainer’s guide, PowerPoint slides, handouts and exercises which local groups could use to run their own workshops.
Organisations and individuals who wish to be considered to undertake this work should contact the Foundation and provide a brief outline of their relevant experience. We aim to produce one set of materials to support tenant training and another set to support landlord training. info@tdsfoundation org.uk
We are still welcoming bids for funding on other projects which aim to promote awareness of tenants’ rights and responsibilities and of landlords’ obligations.
1. Promoting knowledge of landlords’ obligations
It is clear that the growth of the private rented sector has been fueled in recent years in part by the rise of the ‘accidental landlord’. This is often a person who owns property but who is required by circumstances to let the property. These landlords tend to be inexperienced and not fully understand the obligations that they have to meet as a landlord.
The Foundation invites proposals that will help to educate such landlords about the obligations of being a private landlord.
2. Promoting knowledge of tenants’ rights & responsibilities
The Foundation is aware that many tenants are not fully aware of their tenants rights and responsibilities and the Foundation will invite proposals which will help educate tenants about their rights and responsibilities. A particular focus of this will be the student market.
The Foundation invites proposals that will help to educate tenants.
Migrants living or looking for a home in the private rented sector will be able to get advice on their housing rights from an expanded website.
The website – www.housing-rights.info – is run by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and BMENational, the body that represents BME housing associations.
It was set up to provide information for migrants and people who advise them about their entitlement to social housing, homelessness help and housing benefit. It has now been extended to cover the private rented sector after winning a £6,300 grant from the TDS Charitable Foundation.
The government’s Labour Force Survey shows that 80% of recent migrants (those who have been in the country less than five years) live in private rented housing. A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2012 showed that they are often forced into poorer parts of the sector, are unaware of or scared to use their rights, and find it difficult to access advice or get poor advice from conventional housing advice services. The expanded website is intended to help address the gap in the advice available.
CIH policy adviser John Perry, who helps run www.housing-rights.info, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the TDS Charitable Foundation for this generous grant. Over one fifth of tenants in the private rented sector are foreign nationals so it’s vital that they get good advice on their rights. And it’s particularly relevant right now given the Immigration Act 2014, which came into force in parts of the West Midlands in December. The Act requires private landlords to check the immigration status of new tenants, which can be very complicated even for legitimate migrants. So the new sections of the website will cover the new rules, the documents needed by people applying for tenancies and what to do if things go wrong either before the offer of tenancy or later – including advice on how respond to the risk of discrimination by landlords.
“Unfortunately migrants can find themselves at the mercy of rogue landlords, living in extremely poor conditions – we hope the extended website can help prevent this from happening and make them and people who advise them more aware of their rights.”
Steve Harriott, Trustee at the TDS Charitable Foundation said;
“Standards in private rented sector are more important than ever before, as the only form of housing which continues to grow. Whilst most tenants in the UK have good landlords, it is the most vulnerable and those with least knowledge of the law at greatest risk of falling into the hands of bad ones. We are delighted to be able to help CIH and BMENational with this funding to develop an invaluable resource for tenants.”
www.housing-rights.info, which is mainly funded by sponsorship, was originally developed in partnership with HACT with start-up funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government. It is run by John Perry and Sam Lister of CIH and consultants Sue Lukes and Liz Davies.
It averaged almost 12,500 visitors a month in 2014 and is used as a resource by bodies including Shelter, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Migrant Rights Network as well as many small advice agencies.
The TDS Charitable Foundation has announced the successful recipients of its first round of funding for educational projects in private rented sector.
Launched this year by The Dispute Service, the UK’s leading provider of insurance based tenancy deposit protection, the Foundation invited bids of up to £20,000 each and was overwhelmed by applications from charities, tenant and landlord groups, local councils, and other organisations.
Commenting on the first round of funding for the Foundation, Chairman Professor Martin Partington said:
“The demand for funding exceeded even our wildest expectations. Despite a limit of £35,000 per round of funding, we received bids totalling almost £500,000. The Trustees endorsed those that were particularly innovative, or had greater reach.”
The Foundation works to advance education amongst landlords and tenants about private rented housing rights and obligations and has £35,000 available in each quarter to fund projects which support this aim. Applications are now open for the second round until 9thSeptember 2014.
Trustee of the TDS Charitable Foundation, Martin Blakey, the Chief Executive of Unipol Student Homes in Leeds said; “It has been a great pleasure to distribute much needed funding to some excellent initiatives in the first round. Many of these projects simply would not have started without the support of the TDS Charitable Foundation. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of each project in the coming months.”
The successful Round 1 bidders and the projects to be funded are as follows:
National Union of Students
The grant is for the delivery of a tenant training programme for students, rolled out through students’ unions across the UK. The training will equip students with the knowledge and understanding they need to make a success of their time in the private rented sector, both during their student careers and beyond; develop a cohort of ‘pathfinders’ in the sector whose knowledge and understanding will spread to others they live and have contact with; improve communication between landlords and tenants; and improve the confidence of student tenants in advocating their rights.
Chartered Institute of Housing
The funding will support a complete revamp of the CIH online information service http://www.housing-rights.info/ to fully cover the private rented sector aimed at both existing and prospective tenants and their advisers. It will be of particular benefit to recent migrants who are often forced into poorer parts of the sector and are unaware of their rights and find it difficult to access advice services.
Caerphilly County Borough Council – Equalities and Welsh Language Team
The project is to produce models of equalities/discrimination guidance for private landlord groups, the National Landlords Association, housing associations, Welsh local government and Citizens Advice Bureaux, which can be adapted to local circumstances.
Guidance document covers the Common Housing Register and equality laws, landlord and tenant case law examples, a ‘know your tenant’ guide, a list of contact details for local and national equalities organisations that landlords and tenants can access for further advice and support.
Wansbeck Citizens Advice Bureau
Wansbeck CAB will be holding sessions with up to two thousand young people and adult learners at around twenty sites inNorthumberland, including the secondary schools, academies and colleges which either have young people who will be shortly thinking about their housing options or young adults who may already be holding a tenancy. The course will enable them to be a better tenant by understanding how to conduct a tenancy and by being better informed as to what they are responsible for and what issues they can raise with their landlord.
The grant will pay for the production and distribution of an engaging “Know Your Rights & Responsibilities” poster and a guide to renters’ rights and responsibilities. The information will communicate current rights and responsibilities under the law and list resources for further help, with space for each local area to list local resources.
Information for Editors
Professor Partington is available for interview on request
A new charity with a mission to improve standards in private rented housing management has launched its website today and is inviting applications for funding.
The TDS Charitable Foundation will provide education and training resources to tenants, landlords and agents and give grants to projects working towards the same goal.
Applications for funding are now being invited for projects to promote knowledge of landlords’ obligations, and projects to raise awareness amongst tenants of their rights and responsibilities. In its first series of funding the Foundation will give particular focus to tenants who are renting privately for the first time, and to the growing number of ‘accidental landlords’ who are letting property owing to circumstance but with little or no awareness of what their obligations are.
Leading industry and tenant organisations are represented on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees including RICS, NUS, the National Association of Estate Agents and the The Dispute Service..
The private rented sector has grown substantially in recent years and overtook social housing in 2013 to reach 4 million households in England. However the lettings industry remains largely unregulated and continues to hold the highest proportion of homes which fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard. Trustee Peter Bolton-King, Global Residential Director at RICS, is widely quoted describing the sector as being at risk of becoming “the property industry’s wild west”.
Steve Harriott, Chief Executive of The Dispute Service and a Trustee of the Foundation said;
“The TDS Charitable Foundation is providing a valuable new source of funding for organisations which are committed to better standards in private renting.
“At present anyone can enter the lettings industry without training or experience, exposing people to many risks; from bad service to substandard living conditions, to financial loss or worse. I look forward to receiving new and exciting proposals for making tenants aware of what they need to expect from their landlords and agents, and for ways to encourage landlords into training.”
Trustee Peter Bolton King, Global Residential Director at RICS, said;
“RICS are pleased to be associated with the TDS Charitable Foundation. The private rented sector will continue to play an ever more important part in meeting housing needs. Our independent research does however show that consumer knowledge, of basic rights and responsibilities in this sector is lacking and the foundation will help to address this.”
Trustee Colum McGuire, Vice President (Welfare) at the National Union of Students said;
“Students make up a sizeable proportion of the private rented sector, and for many of them it will be their first time. This can leave them vulnerable due to not being aware of their rights so it’s absolutely vital that we do all we can to empower them as tenants.
We’re very glad to be a part of this initiative and believe that the Foundation will go a long way to increasing tenants’ empowerment and protection.”
Organisations wishing to apply for funding can complete an application form on the Foundation’s website, tdsfoundation.org.uk. The application deadline for the first round of funding is June 9th 2014.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has announced the launch of a new charity for the private rented sector.
The TDS Charitable Foundation has now been registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Charity Commission and will provide funding for training, education and projects to promote best practice in the private rented sector.
Steve Harriott, Chief Executive of TDS said:
“The TDS Charitable Foundation is the next step in our long term commitment to helping raise standards in the private rented sector. Industry practices are coming under close scrutiny at the moment, but training and accreditation remain entirely voluntary in the lettings industry.
“Letting property unprepared leaves everyone open to risk and we hope the TDS Charitable Foundation will help make support more accessible for landlords, letting agents and tenants, and provide valuable resources for providers of training and education.”
Having established the Charitable Foundation it is anticipated that the bulk of its funding will come from unclaimed deposit monies paid to tenants but never cashed (even after strenuous efforts to track down the tenants). The Foundation will also seek funding from other grant giving entities.
The TDS Charitable Foundation is a registered charity and will begin accepting applications for funding from April 2014.
Chris Kendall, Communications Officer 01442 780360
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