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Central Bedfordshire Council Lets Rent Central Bedfordshire Councils Local Lettings Agency Model Hamid Khan - Head of Housing Needs, Central Bedfordshire.

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Presentation on theme: "Central Bedfordshire Council Lets Rent Central Bedfordshire Councils Local Lettings Agency Model Hamid Khan - Head of Housing Needs, Central Bedfordshire."— Presentation transcript:

1 Central Bedfordshire Council Lets Rent Central Bedfordshire Councils Local Lettings Agency Model Hamid Khan - Head of Housing Needs, Central Bedfordshire Council Alan Elborough - Settled Housing Solutions Consultancy Service LLP (Commercial Partner) Jim McLaughlin - Settled Housing Solutions Consultancy Service LLP (Commercial Partner)

2 Central Bedfordshire Council Central Bedfordshire – Strategic context of Lets Rent Contributes to wider strategic agenda Homeless strategy Choice and control Homelessness prevention Increase housing supply Health, sustainable communities Partnerships and community engagement helps to shape and support the delivery of strategic housing priorities

3 Central Bedfordshire Council Why is Central Bedfordshire Council adopting this approach? Desire of the council to take forward the Rugg Review/CLG recommendations Increase customer choice and access to good quality, well managed accommodation across the whole of Central Bedfordshire. To encourage a professional local PRS market To develop a commercially viable, sustainable and flexible PRS housing model for the long term in partnership Represent real value for money Integrate PRS into Central Bedfordshires Choice Based Letting Scheme

4 Central Bedfordshire Council Local Context New Unitary Authority Central Bedfordshire covers 716 Sq. Km – Population is 225,000 Predominantly rural though there are urbanised areas and contains pockets of deprivation with 4 wards in top 10 of poorest indices 6% BME community Population estimated to increase to 282,000 by 2021 Affordability – House prices have increased by 94% between 2000 – 2008 Between Jan 2007 – Aug 2009 there was a 138% increase in JSA claimants compared to 65% nationally

5 Central Bedfordshire Council The unique features of Lets Rent Combines a regulatory framework with a housing supply model Developed in partnership with both public and private sector stakeholders These include the PRS, Housing Advice & Options, HB, Environmental Health, Community Safety, Floating Support Delivering a Shared Vision in partnership Tenancy sustainment is at the heart of a flexible model that recognises that one size does not fit all

6 Central Bedfordshire Council The unique features of Lets Rent continued Promotes high quality standards with focus on sustainability and liveability Meets diverse housing needs, promotes equality through sustainability Incorporates property accreditation and licensing of letting agents to ensure accommodation regulated to agreed standards Effective commissioning and procurement provides better value for money Promotes economic regeneration

7 Central Bedfordshire Council Best use of resource - outcomes Funded via the Homelessness Prevention Fund Innovative use of insurance policies and indemnities Reduction in repeat homelessness costs Reduction in TA costs Reduction in homelessness administration costs Prevention of homelessness Improved choice for customers Sustainable homes/Increase housing supply

8 Central Bedfordshire Council Costs and projected savings for 80 households One months rent/deposit (£1,200)* x 80 tenancies (Former rent deposit scheme) £96,000 Lets Rent Insurance costs @ £200 x 80 tenancies £16,000 Total potential efficiencies to the council£80,000

9 Central Bedfordshire Council How the LLA model was developed Cultivating partnerships Consultation Promoting ownership Understanding housing need Understanding the business of letting Learning

10 Central Bedfordshire Council Barriers overcome Negative perceptions of stakeholders Client group issues Unique nature of the environment and geography of the area Managing expectations Meeting housing need

11 Central Bedfordshire Council Key Milestones Evidence base on the local PRS collected and evaluated Conducted a review of all internal services that currently provide and promote services to the local PRS Developed unified processes and procedures Formulated LLA Service Level Agreements (SLA) between the Housing Service and the Housing Benefit Service, the local Floating Tenancy Support Service and the Professional Lettings and Managing Agents

12 Central Bedfordshire Council Key milestones (cont) Cost Reduction Business Model developed. Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Tenancy Support and Sustainment Plan developed. Lets Rent Awareness Training Sessions Lets Rent manual produced Full Executive Members Sign off obtained Feb 2010 Lets Rent scheduled to be launched in March 2010

13 Central Bedfordshire Council Typical scenario Married couple with child, one more on the way Living with mother while waiting for council housing Husband has just lost job at Vauxhall plant in Luton Conflict increasing between family Family wish to remain in the area for schooling No funds to access PRS accommodation Family seek assistance from Housing Advice & Options Referred to Lets Rent Housing needs assessment completed

14 Central Bedfordshire Council Outcome Referred to Lets Rent Housing needs assessment completed Offered choice of good quality, well managed accommodation in the area through licensed letting agent Assisted with HB application Offered floating tenancy support Family move in Tenancy managed by letting agent in accordance with professional licensing scheme Monthly performance monitoring

15 Central Bedfordshire Council Testimonials The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is very pleased to support Central Bedfordshire Councils new private rented sector housing option, Lets Rent. By seeking the expertise and views of local ARLA Licensed Letting Agents during the development phase of the project, Lets Rent can now be confidently promoted to both tenants and local landlords as a sustainable housing option which offers management by professionally qualified staff and consumer protection for all parties. We also hope that the commercial success of Lets Rent will also incentivise other unregulated letting agents to join the ARLA Licensed Scheme and by doing so offer both tenants and landlords greater choice of professionally regulated letting agents in the Central Bedfordshire area. Ian Potter –Operations Manager – Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)

16 Central Bedfordshire Council Testimonials Central Bedfordshire's 'Let's Rent' Local Lettings Agency Model strikes the right balance between promoting better housing management standards and equalising rental choices for those in need of housing, which were key recommendations highlighted within the Rugg Review of the Private Rented Sector. We are encouraged that Central Bedfordshire Council recognises the vital role NALS licensed lettings and managing agents can play in not only supplying suitable accommodation but also promoting high standards and professionalism in the local private rented sector. Isobel Thompson - Operations Director - National Approved Letting Scheme


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