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New scheme to engage private sector landlords in meeting city’s housing need

Aerial view of housing in Leicester

PRIVATE sector landlords are being offered a package of support and help including financial incentives, secure rental income and hassle-free letting thanks to a new scheme being launched by Leicester City Council.

The city council has drawn up a programme to work with private sector landlords in providing much-needed housing for the city, in return for a versatile package of benefits, help and advice to ensure the process is as easy as possible.

By working with the city council to rent out their houses, landlords will be able to benefit from secure income, guaranteed regular rent and no estate agents fees.

Help on offer ranges from fully managing the property long-term on behalf of the landlord, to simply helping would-be tenants secure deposits or up-front rental payments.

Many tenants housed by the council remain in place for a long term, giving landlords the security of a stable tenancy. At all stages throughout the process, comprehensive, practical help will be on offer covering a range of housing and tenancy issues, for example getting involved on the landlord’s behalf if there are issues with rent payments.

The new programme has been drawn up to attract landlords whose properties could be put to use to provide much-needed accommodation for some of the thousands of families currently needing somewhere to live.

Over the years, the city council’s stock of council homes has decreased due to tenants purchasing their homes under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme, meaning more and more housing from  private sector renting and housing associations is needed to meet the growing demand.

Four different levels of support will be available – Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze – designed to suit individual landlords’ needs, some of whom will want to handover a lot of day-to-day responsibility the city council, while others want to retain control themselves.

The new private sector landlords scheme is due to be launched at the forthcoming Landlords Forum, taking place on Friday, July 2.

Leicester assistant city mayor for housing, Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, said: “The nature of housing in the city has changed over the years, and while 40 years ago rented council homes accounted for more than a third of the city’s housing, now it is just 15 percent.

“Private sector housing is a potentially very large resource of high-quality, conveniently located accommodation across the city, so we want to help make it as easy as possible for landlords to work with us to put those properties to use, housing families who need them most.

“This updated package of measures will enable us to work more closely with private sector landlords, by offering different levels of help and support to them, to meet their needs, and is a key part of our work to raise standards in the private rented sector.

“In some cases, landlords want to rent out high-quality properties long-term but the day-to-day management of the process is too much for them. At the other end of the scale, we have landlords who are happy to work independently, so our role may involve helping would-be tenants to overcome financial obstacles such as the payment of a deposit or rent in advance.

“It’s important that we work closely with private sector landlords who can play a vital role in meeting the city’s growing need for high-quality housing, and the help on offer in this scheme means landlords can benefit from secure, long-term help by working with us to rent out their properties.”

It follows a series of schemes working closely with private sector landlords over the last two years which has led to over 200 new tenancies for people needing accommodation.

Details of the scheme can be found here.