The Council has opened a letting agency on an east London high street to “help tenants shut out of rental market”.
The housing department of the east London local authority has made its high street debut with its very own lettings agency which will be in competition with the existing letting agents in the town.
Havering Council opened the agency’s doors for the first time this month of “Liberty Housing” in one of the borough’s busiest shopping areas, Hornchurch Town Centre.
The Council is hoping that by encouraging landlords to sign up to their letting scheme they can create more opportunities for local people struggling to access high quality private rented accommodation.
Council staff will also be on hand to help those looking for a property of their own by giving advice about shared ownership schemes, debt and budgeting.
The new high street agency aims to “build on ten years of finding homes for local people” through the Council’s work with private landlords, which was featured by the BBC’s Panorama programme this year. The Council claim that landlords joining the scheme can benefit from:
– no hidden service charges
– payment of tenant deposits by the Council
– free gas checks
– some free repairs
– a dedicated team of Council housing officers who will manage the tenancies on a day-to-day basis.
Havering Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Damian White, said:
“Liberty Housing is our way of giving potential landlords greater peace of mind when letting out their properties.
“We’re experts in housing so we can manage tenancies directly while also offering guaranteed market rents and some free repairs.
“But Liberty Housing is a good deal for tenants too as we can offer face to face advice and support on all matters from debts and budgeting to shared ownership.
“We can also help out financially, paying upfront deposits and other costs for those who need it.”
Havering Council Opens High Street Letting Agency in East London – http://t.co/it9Bkpezzv
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) January 14, 2015