• Broadway is a London charity that provides services to over 2,800 people every year who are at risk of, or are experiencing, being homeless. Its aim is to ensure that every single person finds and keeps a home.
• Real Lettings is Broadway’s pioneering social enterprise. Set up in partnership with the Empty Homes Agency in 2006, it has received funding from The London Housing Foundation and the Transitional Spaces Project. Current supporters include: Hammersmith and Fulham, Lewisham, Southwark and Westminster Councils.
• Aware of the growing demands made on social housing in the capital, Broadway saw that the Private Rented Sector (PRS) was the only viable option to re-house the people it helped.
• London councils no longer provide leasing services for landlords with one-bed and studio properties. This is due to pressures to achieve social housing targets. Their priority is to house families in larger 2-3 bed properties.
• Broadway has worked with homeless people across London since 1977 and has more than 25 years experience managing properties in the rental sector as well as a waiting list of ready tenants.
• Real Lettings is an innovative social enterprise, which uses Broadway’s existing skills to plug this gap in the market. Landlords with one-bed and studio properties can access Broadway’s property management experience through competitive management and leasing services. Their properties are then used to re-house single people that have experienced homelessness.
• Real Lettings works collaboratively with London councils and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) to provide leasing and management options for their landlords with one-bed flats and studios. It also works directly with landlords interested in these services.
• Rent payments are paid using the tenant’s Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
• Its leasing service offers landlords a risk-free service comprising minimal voids, guaranteed rent and no admin fees for up to five years. All maintenance is covered and at the end of the contract, the property is returned in its original state.
• Management services provide the above but rental payments start only as soon as the tenant is placed. Also, maintenance costs are not covered.
• All tenants are fully assessed before being housed. Resettlement training is provided, as is ongoing support throughout the tenancy.
• As a social enterprise, all of the profits are put back into improving the service for both landlords and tenants.
Successes To Date
• Since its inception, the scheme has re-housed and supported over 77 people. It also received a nomination for the 2007 Andy Ludlow Awards.
“The property management service provided by Real Lettings has been very friendly and helpful. Even though it’s still early in the process, from the original meetings pre-contract through until after the rental service has started, communication has always been good and any issues that have occurred have been dealt with promptly and efficiently. I would certainly recommend Real Lettings to prospective landlords”
“I got a nice flat shortly after being referred to Real Lettings. It’s given me a great start, living in my own place after 8 months in a hostel and a long time before sleeping rough.
I get on well with my landlord and he’s been really helpful. Now I’m busy buying furniture that will last.”
For further information, interviews, case studies or comment, please contact Sally Hems at Oakleaf Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7193-9283 or 07970 919-941.