x
By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
STAY CONNECTED!
    
newsletter-button
award
award award
award award

TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Council opens lettings agency in town with scores of private agencies

Luton council has opened Lets Squared, a High Street lettings and estate agency using public funds - even though the town has literally scores of private agency offices. 

The authority has joined forces with local community housing association squared to for a ‘Social Letting Agency’, known as Lets Squared. 

The two organisations, supported by the government’s own Housing Communities and Local Government Committee, are becoming what they call “a high street estate agent with services covering social lettings, private rented lettings and sales.”

A statement from the council says the agency was created to provide a route to the private rented sector for applicants on benefits and low incomes. 

“Very often people in such circumstances find it hard to get high quality accommodation because of the challenges of needing to be able to provide deposits, references and other criteria which can be significant obstacles” says the statement.

The council says Lets Squared will have “a different philosophy to that of high street letting agents. It will offer a wider range of services rarely seen elsewhere” and its business model includes:

- tenants will not be charged for the service;

- there will be particular help for those who have been sleeping rough;

- it will target individuals and groups who would not normally be able to use a high street letting agent, specifically the homeless and those living in temporary accommodation;

- it will not make a profit from housing those threatened with homelessness;

- it claims it will “raiseproperty conditions, to high lettable and management standards.”

In order to help sustain the social letting aspect of the company, what it describes as “competitive fees” will be charged for the private rented and sales service. 

Profits made in this way will, it claims, “enable the company to offer properties at below market values.” 

Unlike other agencies, staff will not receive commission on properties.

John Holman, interim service director for housing, says: “Luton Lets Squared is an exciting initiative that brings together the accumulated knowledge and experience of two valued organisations. Affordable accommodation is vital for everyone in the town – irrespective of who they are – and for many a dependable, secure home is the first step towards lifting themselves out of financial hardship. Luton lets will play a small but vital role in delivering the council’s aim of no one living in poverty by 2040.”

  • icon

    This is good for all the proper agents in Luton as they can now legitimately send the HB and benefits prospect to them. This will save a lot of wasted time chaps so raise a glass to the council. If they run it like the council you will not have any competition.

  • icon

    Good news, The council are organising their own kick up their own backside as a reality check. They will be weeping at night when they have to deduct from deposits and can not evict tenants who would rather not pay their rent.

  • icon

    OMG..this is an enormous conflict of interest!
    How can they offer to act for the landlord when they will be advising their own tenants to stay put until evicted and all costs will go to the landlord! While saying come to us landlord we can help rent yours out!!!

  • Peter Hendry

    This is an initiative towns up and down the country could all do with. Well done Luton for being first to provide it.
    Bringing changes in letting agency methods, is a key way to improve the service everywhere.

icon

Please login to comment

Zero Deposit Zero Deposit Zero Deposit
sign up