Social Landlords Enter The Private Sector

Latest Landlord News by: Madalena Penny

The severe shortage of available housing stock in both the social and private sectors has prompted yet another council to dip their toe into private rented sector property management.  Doncaster ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) St. Leger Homes has announced they are establishing a private landlord register.

As a company, set-up by Doncaster council in 2005, they plan on working in close relation with the region’s private landlords in a bid to ensure decent homes and to manage them on behalf of independent landlords, whilst ensuring rents are set in accordance with the local authority level.

There have been a number of local authorities within the first quarter of this year that are now turning to the private sector to alleviate the problems accruing from the growing number of people on local council waiting lists.

As part of their ongoing ‘Landlord Awareness Initiative’, landlord infrastructure, ‘Legal 4 Landlords’ are advising and working with landlord alliances and groups to advise on trends, legalities and emerging local authority incentives and initiatives for the private rented sector.

Innovating as these housing initiatives are, landlords thinking of joining up with council run schemes are still advised to weigh up the pros and cons of such incentives.

  • Do council run initiatives use a thorough tenant reference system?
  • Will a council guarantee rental income including void periods when property is vacant?
  • Who is financially responsible for property damage if a tenant’s deposit does not cover the full amount of repairs and redecoration?
  • Do initiatives carry their own insurance cover or do landlords need to enforce their own?
  • In the event of reasons for tenant eviction, what is the Scheme’s ethos and guidelines on such action?

With tenant-demand at record levels, this is very much a private landlord market and as such, landlords should negotiate terms with local authorities.  In light of new trends, landlords should actively form alliances with each other to discuss and debate their stance within their area and their sector, while self-regulating their own policies, working within set guidelines and deterring rogue and irresponsible landlords.

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