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Council’s own lettings agency makes pitch to win private landlord clients

A private lettings agency run by a council is holding open days to woo potential landlord clients.

Test Valley Lettings is later this month hosting two open days for new and existing landlords.

Its advertising says it offers landlords “a no fee, hassle-free tenancy service” with services customisable to meet individual needs and including separate council officers allocated to support both landlord and tenant. 


Richard Bowyer, a current landlord with Test Valley Lettings, says: “They are a good one stop shop. They find the tenant, do the check-in, inventory, tenancy, payments and liaise with the tenant if there are any issues. It makes my job easier.”

A council spokesperson adds: “Test Valley Lettings aims to help prevent homelessness. The council has tenants waiting for all types and sizes of property, so if you think you could help a household in Test Valley find a home, please get in touch.”

The drop-in open days will be held on Thursday November 16 from 3pm to 6pm in Romsey, and on Thursday November 30 from 4pm to 7pm in Andover. New and existing landlords are welcome. 

There will also be trades people on hand to speak to and the opportunity to network with other landlords.

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    If you sup with the devil, you need a long spoon.

  • Barry X

    Over the years we've occasionally tried accepting tenants offered to us by the council on various schemes..... and also, separately, renting a house to them for them to then manage directly themselves for their own tenants....

    Despite initial promises and impressions it turned out EVERY TIME to have been a truly awful, one sided, expensive, frustrating and ultimately incredibly unprofitable and inconvenient arrangement in which the council simply used and abused us and utterly messed us - and our or their own tenants - around.

    Never, ever again.

    You'd be a fool to trust them or have anything to do with any of them.....

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    Barry X - I agree with everything you have said !

    The councils target landlords continually - they are notoriously inefficient & their direct works departments have very low standards - how they think they can attract private landlords is beyond me.
    The appeal to help them out of a difficult position they have created is the laughable policy of idiots - I would not ever get involved with a local council!

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    What they never offer is to act as guarantor as they know they don’t want to pay the arrears and inevitable repairs.
    As a corporate landlord we have offered properties to Cardiff council and the Welsh government particularly to assist with their homeless needs and we asked for them to act as guarantors and they refused point blank.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    There have been several announcements like this in recent weeks. None appear to have ombudsman membership or CMP in place, whilst this one is free to landlords they do not display tenant fees......
    How exactly is this permissible? This is just an instant grab, where there's some lack of compliance, there is undoubtedly more to find.

    Matthew Payne

    If you look at council websites that offer this service, they clearly have no lettings expertise, the language is all wrong, talking about leasing for example on one, their advice more focussed on what the furnishings need to be included rather than any statutory requirements. The sting in the tail howver for most LLs will be the rent, LHA rates are not fit for purpose and most of these councils wotn be paying incentive fees. Dining out on the one stop shop sales pitch won't pay the mortgage.


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