Gertie Owen, owner of Perfect Rooms 4 U in London and Platinum Property Partner since 2010, is a finalist in two categories at the upcoming UK Landlord Accreditation Partnership (UKLAP) and London Landlord Accreditation Scheme awards.

A finalist in both the Best Small Landlord and Best Overall Landlord categories, Gertie will find out if she is a winner at the awards ceremony on 18th March at the Grand Connaught Rooms.

The judging panel will be looking to award landlords who have helped to provide and improve some of the capital's vital private sector housing stock. In particular, entrants will have had to demonstrate achievements over the past twelve months, provide examples of how they have created a positive experience for tenants and ways in which they ensure the properties in their portfolio are of a high standard.

"In all of the awards that I have entered, I always try to show how I have achieved excellence in my buy-to-let business," said Gertie. "I focus on going that extra mile, not just with the quality of my properties but also the level of service that I provide my tenants. I even provide tenant testimonials and evidence of my 100% satisfaction rates and 99.7% occupancy rates. I hope that the judges pick up on the passion that I have for my business and my tenants, and the effort I put in."

If successful, this will be the third time Gertie has won a prestigious landlord award. In 2014, Gertie was awarded HMO Landlord of the Year in the Landlord and Letting Awards and in 2015, she was a finalist in the Professional Landlord of the Year Category and commended for her 'green' landlord endeavours.

David Princep, UKLAP Chairman, commented: "Chairing the UKLAP is both worthwhile and satisfying and I am delighted to be taking part in this year's event and being able to acknowledge those members who have provided outstanding service to tenants and helped raise standards in the private rented sector."

When joining Platinum Property Partners (PPP) six years ago, Gertie immediately started researching local accreditation schemes in her area so that she could set herself apart from other landlords.

"Even before I purchased my first property, I decided I wanted to be accredited," said Gertie. "Obviously being part of PPP already gave me that stamp of approval, but I wanted to join the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme because it would show prospective tenants that I was a professional landlord committed to high standards and complying with the law."

Gertie now sends prospective tenants to her website where she shows what schemes and networks she is a member of, as well as the awards she has won. This has proven to have a positive impact on her business.

Gertie added: "I have now noticed that my tenants appreciate that I am a professional landlord who adheres to policies and standards. It gives them the confidence to know what kind of property and service they will get. I even have tenants who will wait for my next available room rather than go to another landlord."

Gertie recommends that other landlords should join schemes and enter for awards where possible because it can improve your business, encourage growth and increase the number of people who want to rent from you.

"Everybody goes online to review everything these days and it won't be long before tenants are doing the same. It's important for landlords to focus on that from day one to make sure you are doing everything right and providing accommodation and a service you can be proud of," concluded Gertie.

So as well as providing legislative support and potential licensing discounts, accreditation and award schemes can improve buy-to-let businesses and give landlords a unique selling point. In a sector where landlords are rarely looked upon positively, it's time that individuals in the private rented sector celebrated their achievements.