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Council promotes scheme to “avoid letting agents’ fees”

Exeter council in Devon is promoting a scheme to private landlords by calling it a “cost-effective solution for landlords who want to avoid letting agent's fees”.

The Labour-controlled authority has set up a scheme called Housing Access Together, or HAT,  which claims to offer a free service to match landlords with tenants of any type or size of property. 

“The scheme aims to create sustainable tenancies that work for both landlords and tenants” according to a statement from the council, which says there is a “generous incentive package, including up-front cash incentives, rapid payment processing for deposit and rent in advance, comprehensive suitability and affordability assessments of potential tenants, guidance on legal obligations, and ongoing support for landlords and tenants throughout the tenancy period.”


The HAT is described as a system that “matches landlords with available properties of any type or size with households who need help to find private rented accommodation in Exeter and the surrounding area.”

And the council goes on to say: “The HAT scheme provides a practical and cost-effective solution for landlords who want to avoid letting agent's fees and advertising costs. By using the scheme, landlords can save time and money while ensuring that they find suitable tenants for their properties. The professional team ensures compliance and tenant suitability, giving landlords peace of mind throughout the tenancy period.”

The council’s statement includes two testimonials from unnamed landlords.

One says: "I have let my properties through the council and I am very impressed by the friendly and professional manner of the Housing Access Team staff who provide an excellent service and are a delight to work with. They introduce tenants who are suitable for the landlord. Knowing that tenants and landlords are supported with the application process and assisted if required throughout the tenancy is reassuring and invaluable."

Another private landlord - said to have worked in partnership with the council for 10 years - comments: "From procedures for example such as tenant selection, tenancy support, property inspections, etc. I've always felt reassured that these are dealt with in a professional manner, particularly given the ever-increasing legislative requirements that the private sector has seen in recent years."

  • Kristjan Byfield

    As they are establishing a council-owned & run lettings agency in all but name I assume they will be required to meet the same regulations & standards that us letting agents that dare to charge for our work have to? Historically attempts by councils to deliver lettings services have been disastrous (both financially and in the volume, or lack thereof rather, of homes secured and let). Another organisation believes the negative hype around our profession and the total lack of understanding of what a professional letting agent actually does.

  • icon

    Yes Kristjan, but the spider needs to lure the fly. Have you read the Serco contract for Letting property to them ? If not you should. Usefull sales tool for a professional letting company.


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