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Social/Local Lettings Agencies Sarah Mitchell Head of Private Renting, Crisis 020 7426 3866.

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Presentation on theme: "Social/Local Lettings Agencies Sarah Mitchell Head of Private Renting, Crisis 020 7426 3866."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social/Local Lettings Agencies Sarah Mitchell Head of Private Renting, Crisis

2 Local lettings agencies What are social/local lettings agencies? Setting up and succeeding The local authority angle Comparison with commercial agencies Any questions..?

3 About us National charity for single homeless people. National lead on using the private rented sector as a housing option for homeless people. Dedicated work on private renting since 1997 National advisory service on best practice in renting

4 advice on using PRS to tackle homelessness Scottish private renting network PRS tips, research and practical tools popular PRS guides and factsheets Private Renting Champion schemes online search for local PRS schemes Housing Coaches; pre-tenancy training Private renting and Crisis

5 What are local lettings agencies? ‘A social lettings agency should be developed in each local authority area, offering a competitive management fee to landlords in return for full property management. These agencies could absorb all the PRS functions but should operate without complex and expensive leasing arrangements. Tenants on housing benefit would comprise an attractive letting proposition to landlords where an intermediary agency mitigates the risk of rent arrears and is on hand to deal with any anti-social behaviour.’ (Rugg 08)

6 Private renting access schemes Local lettings Agencies: Income generating

7 PRS access schemes Funded (not income generating) Aimed at households in housing need Offer support for tenants and landlords, e.g. deposit bonds; benefits assistance; pre-tenancy training; named contact for support; leasing etc Run by either charities or local authorities See

8 Local lettings agency- features Not one single model: not for profit – social enterprise targeted at people in housing need tailored to local market supporting both tenants and landlords But also: Income-generating - not reliant on grants

9 Set up…or not? Is a LLA the right option? Reasons why many agencies want to set up: Dwindling funding for PRS schemes Private renting the only local housing option Cost and decreasing effectiveness of existing landlord incentive schemes Landlords reluctant to house benefit recipients But for successful scheme this must be a commercial decision

10 Set up…or not? Questions to ask yourself first: Is this right for the local market? Have we done market research – fees, competition, landlords? Who are the right people to deliver it? Is our current service good enough to charge for? Is it necessary? Would a PRS scheme meet the need?

11 Set up…or not? Treat it as any small business. Tailor to local market. Key things to consider are: Service offer and customers – be responsive! Fees Brand Staffing Budgeting and cash flow Handling clients’ money Scale and speed

12 The local authority angle Local lettings agencies are run by charities and by local authorities. Some successful voluntary sector schemes: Derventio (Derby) Wigan Housing Solutions

13 Local authority run? ProsCons Capital up-front Capacity to handle volume Local presence May lack skills and entrepreneurship Reputation with landlords/incentives May not be responsive to demand

14 Compared with commercial agencies? Not-for-profit Quality service e.g. fee transparency Delivering for those in greatest housing need…? Rugg: Tenants attractive to landlords because of the add-on support. Is this still true?

15 Step-by-step practical guide based on learning from successful schemes Local Lettings Agency Guide and private renting best practice and resources: Guide to Local Lettings Agencies


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