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Council says its own lettings agency ‘saves hundreds of thousands’

A council claims that its decision to set up its own lettings agency has prevented homelessness for almost 50 families and avoided £275,000 expenditure on emergency housing.

Croydon’s Labour-controlled council set up Croydon Lettings last summer with the aim of creating longer-term tenancies in the private rented sector “by working more closely with landlords and struggling families” according to a statement.

Now after just under a year it claims it has:

- moved 47 households – or 76 people – faced with eviction into more affordable private rented properties;

- removed the need to spend £275,000 placing them in temporary council accommodation; and

- created what it calls “a wraparound tenancy service” as the main contact for both families and private landlords.

The agency gives prospective tenants what the authority describes as “a personalised training course” before being matched with a private landlord. The course includes budgeting advice, benefits support, tenancy tips and wider skills training.

Croydon Lettings also gives eligible families up to a month’s rent or deposit in advance to reduce debt, and it sets up the tenants’ council tax and utility bill accounts.

It claims landlords benefit by getting a wider pool of pre-vetted tenants, a guaranteed rent, paying no charges to the council unlike with high street lettings agents and a named contact at the council, which all avoids tenancies breaking down.

Council deputy leader Alison Butler says: “Croydon Lettings want to ensure both tenants and landlords have a positive experience so by tackling any issues early the council is protecting vulnerable tenants, supporting landlords and reducing the significant personal and financial burden on all involved.

“In less than a year Croydon Lettings is fast developing a strong track record, and I urge private landlords who want support from an alternative lettings agency to sign up so we can achieve even more together.”

  • S l
    • S l
    • 20 May 2019 09:14 AM

    They seem to overlook the fact that their guaranteed rent are not guaranteed as the tenants on benefits can cancel payment direct to landlord into their own account and refused to pay rent and use the money elsewhere plus if the council make a mistake to their entitlement, they are claiming it back from the unsuspecting landlords. So what makes them think this is working? Let it sink for a couple more years and all the ugly heads will comes up and landlords moving out of this area of renting

  • Kristjan Byfield

    So just a brief look: no ombudsman membership, no CMP, no ICO registration, claim that their research shows landlords will typically pay a regular agent £4k to let a property out,.......and that's just taking less than 5 mins look at their page.

  • icon

    And what is the cost of running the Lettings agency that saves £275 K
    Staff, building - accommodation utilities ?
    Likely the Council Tax payers are unsuspecting funding this.
    Back in the day, it used to be called ' Robbing Peter to pay Paul '
    But the trend for re-inventing the wheel calls it ' Councils Letting Agency '

  • icon

    All council tax paying persons pay for it. Start applying CT to students. Start applying discounts to LLs with empty property being refurbished. Where is the logic thst a single person moving into done up property gets 25%discount, we LLs get NOTHING.The council useless twits cant even explain it, stealing, fraud come to mine.

  • Paul Barrett

    This has to be unfair competition using Council Tax to subsidise a Council LA.
    When you have a bottomless pit of funding the Council can do anything they wish.
    They aren't subject to the usual BUSINESS imperatives that private LA are.

    S l
    • S l
    • 21 May 2019 12:41 PM

    they should be held liable and accountable for making losses in renting as we are. Our taxpayers money are being abused!

     
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