Local authority as letting agent

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sarah 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #979

    committeehelen
    Keymaster

    If anyone has experience of letting to people in housing need via their Local Authority’s Housing department, it would be great to hear it? I’m planning to use their management services too, for peace of mind. I’ve thought long and hard about it, and hope this is the right way forward.
    Obviously it can only work if a landlord is in a position to charge less than the full market rent, and the sums have to be done carefully.

    #991

    jdc
    Moderator

    Local authorities are desperate to find homes for families who are threatened with homelessness or living in hostels because they were made homeless. They therefore set up schemes to lease homes from private landlords for 3-5 years at an agreed guaranteed rent. They then use these homes to house families who are homeless, often because their private rented tenancy has come to an end.

    The schemes usually offer a guaranteed rent to the landlord. The rent is usually below market rent but you won’t have the void periods you would normally get with a tenancy with no rent coming in. The authority also undertakes to rehouse the tenant at the end of the lease and hand back a vacant property. So you should not incur legal costs as you might if you have to go to court to get vacant possession should your tenant not leave at the end of the tenancy. The management of the property is also usually the council’s responsibility which removes quite a bit of potential work from the landlord. And of course you will save on letting agent fees if you would normally use a letting agent.

    I would ask the council to put you in touch with other landlords who lease their properties to them. They can give you a better idea of how well the scheme works in your area and if the management is good. Wear and tear may be higher if you are letting to young families but the lease may require the council to make good and redecorate at the end of the lease.

    If your council holds a Landlords Forum, this is often a good way of meeting other landlords who lease to the council and getting their feedback.

    #992

    committeehelen
    Keymaster

    Thanks: this offers me a couple of good ideas to follow up, especially the Landlords Forum etc.

    At the moment I feel very enthusiastic about the idea, having found the Housing Officer who will deal with me competent and supportive and able to deal with my queries and concerns.
    Obviously I’m accepting a lower rent than I could get with private renting, but it will enable one local family to get out of emergency accommodation by Christmas.
    If only the authority could find 30 or 40 more properties for the others on their list.

    #999

    Sarah
    Keymaster

    I’m really glad you have decided to go ahead with this. There are so many people in housing need, and you will be helping someone in the most acute end need. It’s lovely to think that they will have a home before Christmas!

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