Salford council launch social letting agency

Salford council launch social letting agency

11:20 AM, 28th August 2019, About 3 years ago 16

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Salford City Council has launched its own letting agency, Salford Property Link, in an effort to encourage private landlords to help reduce the massive social housing waiting list.

The new agency offers landlords different levels of service from advertising and tenant matching right through to full property management, guaranteed rent and a property repairs service.

Many of those seeking new homes are employed. but housing officers will work with any who are on benefits to make sure they are claiming their full entitlement and can meet their rent obligations.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “There are huge waiting lists for social housing and not enough to meet demand. There is great potential for landlords to work with us and get tenants into the right property.”

The agency is part of a package of measures Salford City Council is undertaking to address the national housing crisis. It has launched Dérive, a wholly owned company, to provide more social housing, initially through buying off plan, but ultimately to build affordable housing through the development and sale of other homes at market value.

It is also offering extra housing support to armed forces veterans and their families who may have difficulties with setting up new homes or are struggling with their current tenancy.


Dylan Morris

9:42 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Stay clear is my advice unless you’re experienced in dealing with Universal Credit. The last thing I’d want is to use a letting agency run by the local council. “Officers will work WITH ANY who are on benefits to make sure they are claiming their full entitlement and can meet their rent obligations”.

Gunga Din

9:43 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Interesting. My flats are in a northern town with low demand from working tenants, but great demand from benefits recipients, which don't meet my criteria.

I've often wondered how interested the local authority might be in leasing the whole building (three storey Victorian terrace with three self contained flats) from me and taking on all the costs and responsibilities whilst paying me a monthly amount.

Is there any precedence for this sort of arrangement?

Michael Bond

9:50 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Looks good and it is encouraging to see a local authority which is prepared to try to think of original ways of dealing with the housing shortage-- and as a former soldier I like the reference to ex-servicemen. But this is a local authority you would be dealing with. Do they know what they know a enough about the rental market to get it right? Can you be sure that whatever the Council policy may be you will not find yourself dealing with someone who is a Corbyn supporter and is out to sabotage the scheme and do you down? etc? The only way I would consider such a scheme would be to hand a property to the Council for an agreed rent for an agreed period on the basis that they hand it back to me in the same condition at the end of the period.

Luke P

10:00 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Gunga Din at 29/08/2019 - 09:43
There are, but they will use 'their' (our tax-payers) money & solicitors to try and get out of any obligations. Unless you're doing it for, say, 10 years (by which time you'd perhaps expect to undertake a refurb anyway, so any damage doesn't really matter), it won't be worth the bother. Imagine if the property developed mould because of condensation owing to the tenants lifestyle...there's no incentive for the council to pursue the tenant, but I can quite imagine they'd be happy to support the tenant in making a claim under Fitness for Human Habitation legislation. The council are very often not on the same team as LLs, so I wouldn't want them running my properties!

Luke P

10:01 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Bond at 29/08/2019 - 09:50
It's not new, Michael. Other councils that have tried similar have woefully failed and in at least one case, fallen foul of basic rules such as advertising with no EPC. You cannot become a letting agent overnight. They're of the belief it's easy peasy (but then they're not driven by profit/loss as they're not spending their own money).


10:35 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

If they are offering a full service including tenant matching, a full property repairs service *and* guaranteed rent for landlords prepared to allow Salford Council to house social housing tenants, and therefore with Salford Council bearing the risk, I personally wish Salford Council good luck and hope that they make a success of it.

The devil is in the detail of course.

Just at the moment I can't charge my tenants for things that tenants do to my property that they should not do because the law does not allow it; I can only put the rent up; so I'm guessing the law does not allow Salford Council to do it either. And I don't know to what extent they'd be willing or able to put the rent up for their social housing tenants.

So if the contract is set up so that Salford Council bears the cost of the repairs e.g. to fitted appliances that the tenants have broken, or to make good anything the tenant does that costs money (because Salford Council is 100% responsible for managing the tenant) then that ought to be alright.

It's not going to work if Salford Council guarantee your rent but bill you for everything via their 'repairs service' even if you shouldn't have to pay it.


10:39 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 29/08/2019 - 10:01
On ..." (but then they're not driven by profit/loss as they're not spending their own money)."

That's true, by and large they are spending council tax payers money and money from council rents; they are managing tenants all the time anyway; and they have an obligation to try and get value for money. So maybe they are the best people to manage social housing tenants. They could at least be reasonably expected to know whether the people they house are eligible for benefits or not.

Luke P

10:45 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JJ at 29/08/2019 - 10:39
The problem here is it's really private housing under the social housing name/banner.

David Lawrenson

11:08 AM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

My views is unchanged since I wrote this piece in 2013, that these schemes generally do not work. Results have been mixed at best.

David Lawrenson
One to One Consulting Advice in the PRS

Dylan Morris

12:42 PM, 29th August 2019, About 3 years ago

An important point to consider is that the Council are merely the agent. You as landlord will be responsible should anything go wrong ie. tenant being charged a prohibited fee, gas certificate not updated, smoke alarms not maintained or tested, repairs not carried out within certain legal timescales, Right To Rent, etc etc. You could sue the Council as your agent for any negligence of course, but you as landlord are the principal and ultimately liable. And remember the penalty fees can be up to £30,000 in some instances or even time in prison. Would you really trust the Council to be efficient and know what they’re doing ?

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