Private Sector Leasing - is it for me?
We are now working with a growing number of landlords who are interested in leasing their property to Wigan Council. Our main requirement is that we have demand for the area that your property is located in and also the need for the type of accomodation on offer.
As a landlord you will be aware of the issues facing people looking for housing in the current climate. Mortgages are difficult to find without huge deposits and because of the government cuts they are even harder to sustain as people lose employment and as a result their debts increase.
We have seen the demand for Council accommodation grow whilst cuts in funding make it increasingly difficult to pursue the building of affordable housing in the borough.
More people are turning to the private rented sector to find housing but those who aren’t familiar with it have concerns around stability and security of tenure. We launched an accreditation scheme for private landlords in May 2009 to try and alleviate these concerns and to help promote the sector whilst supporting inexperienced landlords who were new to the property market.
Since then we have launched a successful private landlords forum and established a working group of landlords and letting agents who are interested in working alongside the Council to seek ways to improve the sector for all concerned.
What does the private sector leasing scheme involve
If you have a property that is currently vacant then potentially you could receive:
- up to 3 years guaranteed rental income with a view to extending the lease thereafter
- an intensive housing management service provided by Wigan Housing Solutions – at no cost to you the landlord
- guaranteed income of 85% of the Local Housing Allowance Rate set at January 2011 - if this is higher than current LHA rates
- market rate income for bungalows and adapted properties or properties in high demand areas that are in short supply
- pre-tenancy and housing management training for all tenants moving into your properties – at no cost to you the landlord
What is expected of you as a private landlord?
We would need from you for each leased property:
- a current gas safe certificate
- a current periodic electrical inspection
- an energy performance certificate (EPC)
- proof of landlord/buildings insurance
- proof of public liability insurance cover to the value of £2 million
- if the property is mortgaged or has a secured loan on it, approval from your lender that you can enter into a lease
- if you have other properties then we would expect you to work towards full accreditation of all your stock
We will carry out an inspection of your property and expect standards to be good both internally and externally. Our private sector housing team will provide you with a report using the Housing Health and Safety Rating Scheme (HHSRS) and this report will detail both essential and advisory works to ensure the property is safe for occupation and to ensure your portfolio is maintained to a good standard.
We have also produced information on the scheme and guidance on the lettable standard that we expect each leased property to achieve once any works are completed - if you would like a copy of either leaflet then please contact us.