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Graham Awards


Another council wants to sub-let private flats to the homeless

Portsmouth council is the latest local authority to offer to rent properties from private landlords to let out to the homeless. 

The scheme was developed by the authority's private sector housing team after committing to work with private landlords to ease the city’s homelessness problem.

The council says the scheme “gives private landlords peace of mind and a stress-free experience.” 


A team of authority officers take on responsibility for managing the tenancy “whilst landlords can sit back and relax with the assurance of a guaranteed income and free professional support.”

Under the terms of the lease the owner permits the authority to sub-let their property to families, couples and single people, knowing the property will be returned in the same condition at the end of the lease - apart from what the council calls “reasonable wear and tear.” 

The council says there are many benefits to landlords joining the scheme, highlights of which include zero management fees, rent paid quarterly in advance, guaranteed payments and no risk of rent arrears, out of office hours support, and minimum three year term of lease if required.

"People tell the council all the time they want homes they can afford. Building homes is part of the answer, but takes time when we need to make things better now. This scheme helps to do that by offering landlords and potential tenants greater security” says a spokesman for the local authority. 

“For tenants, it's about offering more homes they can afford. For landlords, it's guaranteed rent, longer-term tenancies, upfront payments and a wealth of free support as the legal position changes. There are no management fees, it's not about profit, it's about doing the best for our residents.”

  • Paul Smithson

    It's about profit, read in The Times newspaper about old offices being turned into Homeless pens, why would a LL put up with this otherwise.


    Not sure I follow Paul. The article would seem to focus on on the renting of normal properties as is the case with the council in my area. The Times articles were about PD and how it's being abused to make rabbit hutches. No doubt there's an overlap between the two of course.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 17 July 2019 10:15 AM

    They forgot to mention the fact that although the council are paying rent, if latar they find out the tenant committed fraud and not entitle to housing benefit, they will claim it back from the landlord. Not to forget, affordable in council terms does not reflect market rent rates. Tons of people are on waiting list for council housing because of the low rate of rent from £59 per week. That is way too low for any landlord to accept.

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    • 17 July 2019 11:20 AM

    Don't touch council schemes like this with a bargepole.
    It will end in tears.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I would say Paul, be very cautious of anything to do with the Council - L.A.
    However, if the Homeless pressure is getting such that they're waking up and smelling the coffee, in terms of advance rents, standing Guarantor for the Tenant, then perhaps some Councils have started to turn the corner. Time will tell.
    But your right, they don't have a good track record with the PRS - a lot of that is Central Gov't doing mind.

  • icon

    SIni claw back would not be available in this case as the council is sub letting so they are the landlord for this purpose

  • icon

    I have come across Manchester City Council who did the same thing with dwellings and it cost me over £15,000. They cancelled their contract stopped paying and left their sub-tenant in situ who paid nothing as this occupier had no contract with me the landlord. Try suing the Council!!! Then try getting possession. Be very cautious doing deals with Councils.


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