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London council latest to set up own letting agency

Haringey Council in North London is the latest local authority to launch its own letting agency for private tenants.

Move 51⁰ North is an online letting agency offering which will charge tenants £180 for administration fees and £72 for credit checks. 

The council says landlords will be offered lettings and management services at the market rate. 


The agency will cost the council approximately £500,000 in the first three years of operation but it is expected to start making returns by its fifth year.

“Haringey is fast becoming one of London’s most popular places to live and work, and we know many people prefer the flexibility of the private rented sector – which is why it’s vital we do more to protect them from rogue landlords and unscrupulous lettings firms,” said Alan Strickland, Haringey's cabinet member for housing and regeneration. 

He also said the agency would help to 'stamp out rip-off fees and charges'. 

Dan Wilson Craw from campaign group Generation Rent told The Guardian: “We hope the council will use this as an opportunity to lead the way in providing secure tenancies with predictable rents, but for the time being not all tenants will benefit. We need much wider reform to give renters greater power in the market.”

Back in October, LAT reported that Hastings council set up its own letting agency. There are also similar operations in Luton, Havering, Birmingham and Hackney.

You can see the council's agency website here

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    I wonder if any punters will see this as an agency only offering Council property and not even bother. Why the high cost with losses posted before they even open the door? Is this a recipe for disaster? With government cutbacks I bet the locals will not be happy to have their Council Tax spent on hair brained schemes!


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