On 1st March we are withdrawing the dedicated phone line we have provided for landlords who are members of the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme. (MLAS). If you’re not familiar with MLAS or landlord accreditation in general – MLAS do some excellent work in helping maintain standards in the private rented sector, do please check out their website.
Although our general phone lines and counter service will very much remain open, we are trying to focus on providing a better service to landlords by giving them access to the most of the information they need (including information specific to their own tenants) and ways to interact with us – online. Where possible, we don’t want landlords to be dependent on needing to come to see us, or waiting in a phone queue to talk to someone – we want them to be able to find and share information directly – when they want and as often as they need on a 24/7 basis.
We see this as being very much like online banking. A few years ago, if I had wanted to make a transaction or check a detail on my bank account – I’d have to make sure I had the right bits of paper and references handy, find an opportunity in a busy day to get to the phone and then have to negotiate my way through necessary but long-winded lists of call options and security questions before I got to speak to someone. And if five minutes after putting the phone down, I suddenly thought of an extra question, it all had to start again. Now I put my feet up at home and make a few clicks on the laptop, or tap in on my phone, whenever and wherever I like. I wouldn’t dream of going back to the old way.
I wont go into here all the things landlords can now do online – it would turn a short blog post into too long an article, and we have blogged previously on most of the individual features; but if you are a landlord and think you need to contact us about either Housing Benefit or Council Tax please do have a look at what’s on our web pages first. In particular – if you have tenants on direct Housing Benefit – please do think about signing up for our landlord portal.
If you have any comments or queries about our online services, please do let me know.