Independent housing advice on all aspects of housing in university accommodation and the private sector.
How to use the Code of Standards to manage problems.
Signing with an accredited landlord give you peace of mind. Accredited landlords agree to meet standards which are above the legal minimum. It also gives you the protection of a complaints procedure which you can use if your landlord is not meeting their obligations.
These complaints procedures do not replace your legal rights and remedies; they are an extra level of standards for you. While the complaints procedures do not place a legal requirement on the landlord to make any changes, most Code Landlords are keen to remain members of the Code and not lose the benefits that being a Code Landlord gets them.
About the Schemes
There are two main accreditation schemes in Leeds - the Unipol Code of Standards and the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme.
The Unipol Code is used by landlords who are primarily in the student market, whereas the Leeds City Council Landlord Accreditation Scheme is used by both student landlords and landlords who operate in the professional market – so if you are renting a family home your landlord might use this scheme.
Unipol also operate a National Code for large developments, which is used by providers of university accommodation and private halls.
How to use the codes
The first thing you need to do is to confirm that your landlord is a Code member. They should make this clear when you are signing, but if you are not sure you can check here:
The Unipol Code also has agents who have ‘supporter status’. These agents are working to be code members, but they operate properties from landlords who are not full members. This means that requirements in the code for certain facilities in the property might not be met, but you should still expect the service from the agency to follow the requirements of the Code. We recommend that you go with landlords who are full code members.
The two codes have slightly different procedures if you need to make a complaint.
This page explains the complaints process and what will happen when Unipol receive your complaint.
You can make a Unipol Code complaint using this online form.
To complete the form, you will need to specify which sections of the Code have been breached. You can see the list of Code requirements here.
You can also upload further information with the online complaint. It can be useful to prepare and upload a timeline of key events and include copy correspondance and photos if relevant.
If you would like help preparing your complaint, you can contact Student Advice.
Leeds City Council Landlord Accreditation Scheme
The council scheme is very similar. Details of the complaints process can be found here. You will need to fill in the form.
The complaint will be reviewed and a decision made about what will happen to the landlord. This could include the landlord being suspended from the Scheme until repairs are carried out, the landlord undertaking further training, or the landlord having their accreditation withdrawn. You will be notified.
How to word your complaint
Your complaint must be specific to the clauses of the code, you cannot just complain about poor service without linking it to the code.
The specific requirements can be found here:
Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme
On the complaints form you need to list:
· what breach of the code has been made
· any steps the tenant/s or member/s of the community have taken to bring this breach to the owners notice
· an indication of the timescale involved concerning any particular problem
As an example:
The roof in your house is leaking. You called the landlord 2 weeks ago and he was rude to you and said that he was busy and would not talk to you. You emailed him, but did not receive a reply. You have also noticed that there is no fire door on the kitchen and you are worried that this is not safe. You told the landlord about this after you moved in but he has not replaced this.
For this example we will use the UNIPOL code.
You could put the follwoing details on the form:
3.08 and 3.09 – The roof is leaking. We notified the landlord about this in writing 14 days ago and he has not fixed it yet. We have needed to move the beds in the top floor rooms to avoid the water which is coming in. We feel this should have been fixed within 5 days as this is an urgent repair. Please see email to landlord and photos of leak down bedroom wall.
4.14 - There is no door on the kitchen. The code of standards says that there must be a fire door on the kitchen. We have notified the landlord of this when we viewed the house and he said it would be fix this before we moved in, but he has not done this. Please see photo.
8.04 – When we called the landlord to report the roof he said he was busy and swore at us saying that we always complain. He put the phone down before we had finsished reporting the problem. This is not acting in a professional manner.
If the case is complex and there have been lots of problems, you might want to include some additional information on a separate sheet. This could be a list of problems, or a timeline of events like this:
21 April – The roof started leaking. We told the landlord about this and he was rude to us.
26 April – The landlord came round and looked at the roof, but said he could not see any problems.
30 April – We emailed the landlord to put our concerns in writing, and sent him photographs.
2 May – There was a rain storm and the leak became worse. Bits of plaster fell off the ceiling and we had to move the bed.
How the Advice Centre can help
We can give you advice about any housing related problems, and help you work out which sections of the code have not been met by your Landlord.
We can help you fill in the form and submit your complaint to Unipol or the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme and if the case goes to tribunal we can attend with you.
We make every effort to ensure information on these pages is accurate and up to date, however policies, procedures and regulations are subject to change. We therefore cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages. Read the full disclaimer.
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