The Guardian Newspaper has an interesting story on their website. They’ve taken advice from prominent people involved in various areas of housing and homelessness to see what their perspective is towards how Councils and Private Landlords work together. From rent fixing to dealing with poor properties, to discussing how councils can work with the private sector to solve the housing crisis. It makes interesting reading if you have the time to head over there and take a look.
Link to Guardian website: Top tips: how should councils work with private landlords?
The private rented sector (PRS) is one way to alleviate the housing crisis and should be able to provide a home to the almost 2m households which currently reside on the social housing waiting list according to the Housing Minister Grant Shapps.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps argues that if councils increase their flexibility, they will be able to make better use of the PRS to house those in need of rehousing. Councils could identify available properties in their areas that are suitable for families on waiting lists. Then they could use these homes to house tenants who would otherwise be stuck in temporary accommodation. By moving these homeless families into the private rented sector, it offers them less security compared to local authority housing and exposes them to higher monthly rent payments. At the same time, the welfare reform bill threatens tenants with a cap on state support for housing leaving the best of the PRS out of reach to many potential tenants.
A problem arises when it comes to councils being able to find enough private accommodation. The National Landlords Association claims more than three-quarters of private landlords are planning to cut the number of tenants on benefits that they house. This factored in with the average age of first time buyers now at 42 years old, the PRS is already seeing an enormous increase in demand for rental properties, with some areas of the country seeing rental properties listed and let within hours. In such a market, landlords may favour tenants not supported by the same state that is forcing through a radical reform of the welfare system.