Through a Private Sector Leasing Scheme, Kingston Borough Council is leasing self-contained properties from private landlords for one to three years. Under the scheme Kingston becomes the tenant of the property and pays an agreed rental amount to the landlord for the full term.
Rental payments are made monthly, are not connected with any benefit claim by the occupant, and are made directly to the landlord, irrespective of whether the property is occupied or not.
Kingston’s primary need is for two-bed properties within the borough, although there is also a smaller need for some other property sizes. Properties outside the borough can also be considered, but the property has to be within reasonable travelling distance of Kingston. However, as most London boroughs are facing similar demands to Kingston, the options for leasing to a host borough may be limited.
Kingston uses the accommodation by subletting on a non-secure basis to a household. The Council manages the property during lettings, so the landlord/owner’s responsibilities are limited mainly to structural maintenance issues as set out in the lease. All private sector renting/leasing arrangements involve risk, but this scheme transfers the risks associated with the tenancy and income management to the council.
Some landlords prefer the flexibility of managing a property directly, and the familiarity of renting a property to an individual and not a corporate body like a local authority. For this situation the Council has developed a complementary service.
The Kingston Tenant Finder Service facilitates lettings between private sector landlords and tenants referred by the borough. These households have approached Kingston for assistance, but they are typically households that have lived in the private sector before, have managed their tenancies satisfactorily, and simply need assistance at one point of their lives.
In this scheme landlords are not obliged to take any particular tenant referred by Kingston and the borough will refer more households until the landlord makes a choice.
The landlord and tenant have a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the landlord manages the property and rent accounts directly. Kingston however will facilitate the letting by the provision of a range of standard documentation, guarantee a deposit, pay a month’s rent in advance and carry out an initial property inspection, providing a free on-going advice service for landlords and tenants.
As with the leasing scheme, the main need is for two-bed accommodation within the borough.
The Kingston Private Sector Housing Team (PSHT) can support landlords with grants for improving and adapting properties. There is a home improvement grant that offers supports with energy efficiency work and a disabled facilities grant that helps adapt properties for older or disabled people.
The Government has provided increased disabled adaptations funding for this year and the PSHT would like to speak to any private sector landlords willing to go into partnership with the Council to provided adapted homes for Kingston residents.
If you would like help with managing the property then please look at the Private Leasing Scheme at www.landlordkingston.co.uk For more information call 020 8457 5003 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org