Agency finding secure homes for families in temporary accommodation?

Agency finding secure homes for families in temporary accommodation?

9:11 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 weeks ago 4

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I am considering renting my London property to an agency that ‘finds secure homes for councils in London, so families can move out of temporary accommodation or avoid becoming homeless.’

They seem to pay LHA (£1067 per month for my one-bedroom flat) rates which are slightly higher than private-sector market rates (£1025 per month) plus an upfront incentive of £1700 for a 24 month AST.

However, rents are not guaranteed as tenants are local authority tenants on housing benefits. Also, from what I can gather local authorities will not pay for any tenant’s damage, so effectively the upfront incentive fee is used to pay for any damage caused at the end of the AST.

Any advice or experience would be warmly welcomed.

Costas



Comments

by Robert Mellors

11:16 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 weeks ago

So in effect the council is acting like a let only letting agent, and taking absolutely zero responsibility for the tenants they place in your property?

1. If the tenants don't pay the rent (they spend the UC Housing Element, that is paid to them), will the council/agency pay the rent arrears? On a 24 month tenancy, that's potentially a hell of a lot of rent arrears! - NOTE: rent is now paid via Universal Credit (Housing Element), NOT Housing Benefit, and it is paid to the tenants, not to the landlord (except in exceptional circumstances).

2. If the tenants trash the property and cause £10,000 of damage before you can eventually get the bailiffs to evict them (on a 24 month tenancy, that's a lot of damage that could be done), will the council/agency re-imburse you the damage and legal costs?

3. If the tenants commit anti-social behaviour, will the council/agency resolve this quickly, and make peace with the neighbours? - Remember, ASB is difficult to prove to the degree required by a court, so you could be stuck with the tenants for the full 2 years of the AST, plus time for the court eviction process after that.

If the answer is "No" to any of the three questions above, then you may wish to choose your own tenants who can afford the rent from their earnings, and have personal assets and rent/damage guarantors.

If the council are willing to act as rent and damage guarantors then this may be an entirely different matter, but without this they may simply be offloading bad tenants onto you? Do your due diligence as you would for any other potential tenant, e.g. do all the credit checks and get written references from former landlords.

by Ian Narbeth

11:52 AM, 15th July 2021, About 3 weeks ago

Costa, that £42 a month premium (or even an extra £71, counting the £1700) is not sufficient for the risk you will run. You are allowing a third party(the Council) to choose your tenants. If the tenants they select default you will be out of pocket.

By definition the tenants will almost certainly be men of straw and not worth suing. I would want a substantially higher premium for taking on this risk.

Think how foolish you will feel if the tenants stop paying rent after a few months, trash the place and it takes ages to evict them. If COVID gets bad we could see further moratoriums on eviction.

My advice, don't touch this deal with a ten foot pole.

by DSR

17:24 PM, 15th July 2021, About 2 weeks ago

AVOID! rent not guaranteed? Need I go any further ....?

by Steve Lumley

17:41 PM, 17th July 2021, About 2 weeks ago

I've gone down this path a few times and, with one exception, had nothing but problems with the tenants


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