A council scheme has been established in Milton Keynes enabling private landlords to let their properties for a guaranteed rent each month.
Over 50 private property investors have signed up to the Secure Lets scheme which aims to increase the number of rental properties available for families in need in Milton Keynes. The need for the scheme was noted when it became evident that demand for homes was outstripping supply in the area. Secure Lets aims to limit the number of local people forced to live outside of the borough.
In the new system, the council acts as the tenants for the properties. This means that the landlords involved in the scheme receive a guaranteed rent each month, even if no tenant is residing in the property.
Rent is paid at 10 per cent higher than the Local Housing Allowance rate, which is the cap up to which housing benefit is paid in the area. This amounts to an income of £722 per month for a two-bedroom flat in Milton Keynes.
As part of their duties as ‘tenants’ the council inspects the property on a monthly basis. It also undertakes day-to-day repairs, and ensures that the house is returned to the landlord in a good condition.
The cabinet member responsible for housing, Councillor Nigel Long, said: ‘We’re really keen to work with landlords who might not have considered a council tenant in the past, but who want minimal hassle along with the security of a regular income. Having the council as your tenant is a very reliable and low risk way of renting a property. The more properties we can offer in Milton Keynes, the more we’re able to provide accommodation nearer to where people work or where their children go to school, which can make all the difference to how a family copes with the tough situation they find themselves in.’