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Private landlords in Peterborough are being enlisted to help alleviate the desperate need for housing in the area.
Peterborough City Council have begun a leasing scheme which will give landlords who own private properties the opportunity to lease them to the authority for five years and be paid a guaranteed rent. In addition, the council will be responsible for maintaining the rental property and will aim to move tenants in from the housing register.
Peterborough contains 574 privately owned properties that have remained empty for over six months. Of these, 31 per cent, or 179 empty homes were brought back into use by the council last year. Over the last five years the council has helped to bring 663 empty homes back into use. This has generated more than £3 million for the authority from the Government’s New Homes Bonus scheme. It also works towards aiding the homelessness that has been a huge issue in Peterborough in the last couple of years
Homelessness has been a huge problem in Peterborough in the last couple of years, with a 200 per cent rise during that period.
Cabinet member for housing, Councilor Peter Hiller, said: ‘Empty homes are a national problem and locally we are making great progress. I am proud of the work we have already done, but we are always looking to do more.’
Landlord Alan Graham, who owns 25 properties, used the council service and is now preparing to lease his third property to the council to use. He said: ‘It’s gone so well, that’s why I’ve looked to provide more properties and become more involved. The benefit I’m getting is I do not have to worry about a minor problem at the property because the council is there. They look after minor issues and give me confidence. Everyone I have dealt with is very professional. You can sit back and not be stressing about every issue. The rent comes in regularly and I’m not worrying about a tenant not paying their rent and having to evict them. That’s a landlord’s biggest nightmare. There’s a housing problem in Peterborough and the council has been quite astute in putting this scheme together.’