LATEST: Belfast government proposes nationwide Private Sector Leasing scheme for landlords

Northern Ireland’s government is considering a nationwide Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme that would offer landlords guaranteed ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Belfast government proposes nationwide Private Sector Leasing scheme for landlords | LandlordZONE.

LATEST: Belfast government proposes nationwide Private Sector Leasing scheme for landlords

Northern Ireland’s government is considering a nationwide Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme that would offer landlords guaranteed rents in return for a commitment to tenancy contracts of between three and five years as well as minimum property standards.

The initiative, which is still being considered by NI ministers at The Department for Communities, is part of efforts to widen choice for tenants within the private rented sector at the lower end of the market.

But in return for guaranteed income, as is the case with commercial offerings of a similar nature, landlords would have to accept below market value income for their property.

The proposals have been criticised by estate agency trade association ARLA Propertymark.

It points out that such long-term contracts could not be broken should landlords need to take back possession of their properties if their circumstances change.

Bad news

Also, it would spell bad news for letting agents in Northern Ireland who operate at the cheaper end of the private rented market and who, Propertymark reckons, could see 50% of their stock disappear as landlords transfer properties to the PSL scheme.

The idea could take off if implemented – landlords who have properties in areas where more reliable and more affluent ‘professional tenants’ are thin on the ground would have peace of mind via a government-backed scheme.

Daryl Mcintosh (pictured), Policy Manager for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at Propertymark, says: “What would be more positive, would be to support the sector to improve through the introduction of legislation on property standards.

“This should be enforced through a dedicated housing court or tribunal. A leasing scheme would only look at standards of those properties entered, leaving the rest of the market with little regulation.

“A more robust tenancy regime will encourage investment in the sector and raise the standards across the board, whilst still allowing the flexibility that tenants and landlords need.”

The PSL proposal comes on top of several other radical changes to the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.

These includes increasing the notice period from four weeks to eight weeks, introduce a fast-track evictions process for problem tenants, tougher regulations on electrical and carbon monoxide safety, minimum landlord fitness standards and restricting rent increases to once a year.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Belfast government proposes nationwide Private Sector Leasing scheme for landlords | LandlordZONE.

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NEW: Radical scheme starts to tempt private landlords into social sector

Landlords will be paid cash deposits by a council in a radical bid to shorten housing waiting ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - NEW: Radical scheme starts to tempt private landlords into social sector | LandlordZONE.

NEW: Radical scheme starts to tempt private landlords into social sector

Landlords will be paid cash deposits by a council in a radical bid to shorten housing waiting lists.

Stafford Borough Council has given its new innovative scheme the go-ahead, using a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme and has earmarked £30,000 for the first year, with the aim of helping 30 tenants.

The authority acknowledges that its current deposit guarantee scheme to help prospective tenants on low incomes find homes isn’t attractive to landlords because it doesn’t cover rent arrears.

Landlords are also reluctant to take Universal Credit claimants because of the lack of a direct pay option for the housing benefit element and because clients can end alternative payment arrangements at any time.

£10,000

Households in Stafford currently face an average wait of seven months for a one-bedroom property on the council’s housing list – and it can cost the authority more than £10,000 to house someone in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation during that time.

About £1,300 is needed up front to start a private tenancy in the town where the average rent is £525 per month.

A cabinet report says: “There are significant barriers for households with complex needs who cannot access social housing and have to wait in unsatisfactory accommodation whilst protracted and sometimes failed negotiations with landlords take place.

“This waiting can have an adverse effect on the client’s health and wellbeing, including mental wellbeing, and make rehousing more difficult.”

Councillor Jeremy Pert (pictured), for community and health, says: “Sometimes the private rental sector does not work as well as it could, which adds to our costs as a council, and means a smaller number of homes are available to our residents than could have been the case.

“By making the changes proposed to the existing private sector access policy we are hoping to secure greater access to the private rented sector and lower temporary accommodation costs.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - NEW: Radical scheme starts to tempt private landlords into social sector | LandlordZONE.

Source : Landlord Zone More   

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