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.”