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Ungarsee

Original Poster:

318 posts

104 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th October 2008 quote quote all
Long story short, we're buying a new build house, had our flat under offer but the buyer now can't get a mortgage. All the new offers are coming in too low and we are actually in the strange position of being able to raise more money through a further advance on our current flat than selling it unless the offers increase.

What I am looking for some advice on is letting my flat out to the council. The pro's, as I see it, are that we would get a guaranteed rent for a set period, the council would deal with the tenants if they didn't pay up and at the end of the contract they would put the flat back to its original state. It's the con's I am worried about as I'm sure there must be some, so is there anyone out there with some experience?

Cheers

Wings

4,465 posts

100 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th October 2008 quote quote all
I have several flats that I have rented out to my local Council’s Housing Department under their Deposit Bond Scheme. Two such one bedroom flats have been under such a scheme for over 6 years now, and as you say the rent is guaranteed, but the tenants my not be of your initial type/choosing.

At the outset of the tenancy, the housing department carried out a fire and electrical inspection of the flats, and then prepared their own inventory check list of the décor condition of the flats.

As I said no problems getting the rent, in fact just loaded up the rent by £100 per flat.

However, another flat, in another County, with the Council’s Housing once paying the rent, stopped their payment of the tenant’s rent in April 2008. On Wednesday next week, in the company of a Court Bailiff and the Police I hope to gain possession of a vandalised flat.

Lastly, before making an approach to your local Council, you might consider contacting the personal department of any local large company/employer, particularly government agencies.

Ungarsee

Original Poster:

318 posts

104 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th October 2008 quote quote all
Thanks for that. How did it end up getting to that point on the other flat if you don't mind me asking? By the sounds of it the Council have just walked away which seems to go against the promise of getting the flat back in it's original state (minus wear & tear)??!!

By the way, can you negotiate on the rental income and do you tend to get under the going market rate?

Wings

4,465 posts

100 months

[news] 
Thursday 9th October 2008 quote quote all
I tend to go for a fair rent, preferring a long term tenancy, of 12 months or more fully let, rather than a 6, 7 or 8 months or what ever let.

Circumstances of the tenant changed, so housing benefit stopped paying the tenant’s rent. Tenant then starting to take in other tenants, who in turn started to cultivate cannabis, ending with late night drinking parties, which ended with several local residents being hospitalised.

Each local Council’s Housing Departments will have differing ways/rules of working. In Bristol, following central government legislations, those entitled to housing benefits received their benefits direct, thereby they/tenant having to pay the landlord their rental payments. If the claimant/tenant fails for two months or more to pay the rent, then the landlord can request the housing/benefit department to pay the rent direct to the landlord.

For the past month I have been attempting to rent out a very smart 3 bed semi detached house, and whilst my fourth add appears in the local press tomorrow, and even with making a rent reduction, I have still avoided all the offers I have received from those on housing benefit to rent the property, because it is my daughter’s home. If it was my property, then I would consider a person on housing benefit, although I would insist on a Deed of Guarantee being signed, together with either 11/2 rental months Deposit.

I believe it is wrong of us to generalise, people of all types fall on hard times, particularly the present times we are living in, so talk to your local council, letting agents, with you making the final decision on who you let your property to.




M400 NBL

3,397 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 10th October 2008 quote quote all
I approached my council to find out how much they would pay PCM for my maisonette. Having already let my curtent flat to the council, I expected around £725-£750 pcm. The person that I spoke to informed me that they now use private company to organise and run LA tenancy.

Fine I thought, except the criteria for letting to LA tenants were probably not far off Victoria Beckhams? They wanted all the feature fireplacse boarded up, windows not to open more than about a foot (even though an open window makes a great fire escape) no shower because tennants may get water on the floor (never mind that showers are far cheaper and quicker) and a few other things.

Had I done all of the above, they would have paid £630 pcm!

Then this week I read about the family on benefits that have a 7 bed mansion so it seems some councils pay less/more than market value.

As far as LA tenants go, the single mother and daugher that rented my current flat were as good as gold. Only once did she call to say a tap was leaking. On the other hand, the private tenants I have in the other place moved into a fully furnished maisonete and then promptly asked me to make the whole place child proof. I wish they'd told me before they moved in banghead

There are tenants that won't look after your home, simply because it isn't theirs. But as private tenants pay deposit and LA tenants don't pay anything themselves, there is a risk when it comes to renting through the council.
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Davel

7,596 posts

143 months

[news] 
Friday 10th October 2008 quote quote all
The advantage is that the rent is normally paid directly by the council.

The disadvantage is that, unless you are very lucky, you will get someone who won't look after the place, may move a few mates in and will nick the gas meter when they leave - and that's if you can get them to leave!

You can't usually evict them, because you're not allowed to make someone homeless and the council won't help you either.

It's better to let to a company, if at all possible, for them to put their employees in.

M400 NBL

3,397 posts

97 months

[news] 
Friday 10th October 2008 quote quote all
Davel said:
The advantage is that the rent is normally paid directly by the council.

The disadvantage is that, unless you are very lucky, you will get someone who won't look after the place, may move a few mates in and will nick the gas meter when they leave - and that's if you can get them to leave!

You can't usually evict them, because you're not allowed to make someone homeless and the council won't help you either.

It's better to let to a company, if at all possible, for them to put their employees in.
Another reason I chose not to use a council tenant was the rent would have been paid to the tenants.

For my previous council tenant, I received a cheque every 4 weeks without fail. I don't think it's the policy of the council, but of the company that now runs private council housing for them.


Goochie

5,131 posts

104 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th February 2010 quote quote all
I just did a search on "renting your property through the council" (or similar) and this thread was second on the list!

I'm thinking of renting a property that I have, through the council. Simply because it is a former council house, the other half of the semi is still a council house so renting privately would probably be a bit more difficult.

Does anyone have other experiences further to those already shared above?

It seems its a real 50:50 gamble on wether you have a good or bad experience. Its a 2 bedroom semi so would be ideal for a single parent with one child but not so good for a family with drug growing teenagers and night-long partys.

DennisCooper

1,114 posts

56 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th February 2010 quote quote all
Hi there,

I thank my lucky stars that my rental apartment I've had since 2002 has had fantastic great private tenants. I've only had a 'few' tenants in this time as they generally are long termers, for instance each have stayed over 2 years before moving on.

I'm no experienced landlord with knowledge of the real in's and out's of property rental, however I have looked through various forums, asked various people in the industry and of course family and friends who've had much more experience over the last few decades to get their input. It went something like

1. Find private tenants yourself so you can avoid management and letting agent fees and paperwork/red tape etc.
2. Use a management/letting agency do everything and accept them taking somewhere between 12.5-15 perhaps 20% of the rent income.
3. Same as above but look for professional's via a company employee type scheme
4. Students.
5. Last Resort - Council.

The things I heard have also been mentioned already, in that if the council tenants circumstances change, payments to you (or them as well it seems now) will stop as they are re-assessed. This can mean of course you won't get your money, whilst someone/they get use of your property. Also of course, with any 'risk' like this with properties, you might get someone who just won't look after the place. The poster who said 'got to keep an open mind and any one of us could fall into hard times' is right - however, the reality is that a large percentage of council tenants are highly likely to be of the type who don't give a hoot about the property.
Each has it's advantages and disadvantages, if you are happy with the risks, then by all means go ahead.

I'd urge you to try and get the property rented to those with references and professionals. I understand of course that just becuase they're that doesn't mean they won't trash or not look after the property too.

Around here, there is a large Polish community, and I've been lucky that I've rented my place to well personally recommended people via a trusted member of their community each time there's been a change. 4 months of 'some' troublesome tenants since 2002 is the only blip I've encountered. I also completely refurbished my property top to bottom and did the usual advice - neutral colours, all amenities, and furnished it. I had one long term tenant look around really quickly once in the door, and say I'll take it, here's a month's deposit and rent in advance.

Other's may disagree and that discussion of recent immigrants isn't really the topic here, but I've found an excellent community from which to find good long term tenants. If you don't have that option in your area, follow the usual advice on attracting the type of tenant you want. It may cost you a little more in terms of refurbishing the place/decor/furnishings even though it's new, but I think it'll certainly help you find good tenants and reduce the 'risk' for you.

Hope the above helps ! Cheers, Dennis! West London & Slough UK!

Goochie

5,131 posts

104 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th February 2010 quote quote all
Thanks for the reply, Dennis.

I'm not sure if there is much of a Polish community here in Staffordshire but the local Asda does seem to have a large selection of Polish products so I guess they must feel it's worth it. I asked about Polish tenants once here in the past and the overall impression was good.

The property itself is in good condition, brand new bathroom, refurbished kitchen (i.e. new doors and tiles) and neutral colours throughout.

Having looked around the web this morning, it seems that different councils have different policies regarding payment of rent. More and more seem to want to pay the tenant who then has to pay the rent - not really the ideal situation to be honest.

drea26

1 posts

51 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th June 2010 quote quote all
i am in reciept of benefits as my daughter has servere learing difficuties and autism. i get my housing benefit payed direct to me i have never missed a payment etc. people on benefits do get a bad rep but if you use your gut, visit their home, get references etc you should be ok. make sure you ask their old landlord about missed payments. you can get some brilliant tenants who are dss usually single parents dont judge all by a few. some of us are just in bad predicaments.

Eric Mc

76,603 posts

150 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th June 2010 quote quote all
I have a client who lets out bed sits mainly to council tenants. On the whole, he finds them reliable tenants.

What you read in the Daily Mail does not always reflect reality.

The biggest disaster one of my clients had with a tenant was a house which was rented out to a person who claimed to be a titled personage from continental Europe. He was eventually evicted owing over £20,000 rent and having caused around £30,000 damage to the property.

Bad tenants can come from all walks of life.

groak

3,254 posts

64 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th June 2010 quote quote all
Ungarsee said:
Long story short, we're buying a new build house, had our flat under offer but the buyer now can't get a mortgage. All the new offers are coming in too low and we are actually in the strange position of being able to raise more money through a further advance on our current flat than selling it unless the offers increase.

What I am looking for some advice on is letting my flat out to the council. The pro's, as I see it, are that we would get a guaranteed rent for a set period, the council would deal with the tenants if they didn't pay up and at the end of the contract they would put the flat back to its original state. It's the con's I am worried about as I'm sure there must be some, so is there anyone out there with some experience?

Cheers
You've had two types of reply talking about two completely different things.

What YOU appear to be talking about is dealing directly with your local authority. Basically you hand them the flat and leave them "to get on with it".

As long as you are prepared to accept a rent which is below market value, this is one of the best types of arrangement you can possibly make in the rented sector. They fully take over management of the premises, pay you whether or not the flat is occupied, and certainly will put the flat back to square one when and if the arrangement comes to an end. The ONLY downside is that the guaranteed rent is below market rate. Other than that, it's perfect. Horror stories don't apply.

The OTHER type of reply relates to renting to "assisted persons" / "DSS tenants" / "Local Housing Allowance (used to be called Housing Benefit) tenants"/ basically people who are entitled to have the state pay their rent.

Unless you really do fancy a letting learning curve, you would be far far better doing this via an agency WHICH IS VERY EXPERIENCED in these type of tenancies. I am a director of such an agency and have dealt with literally thousands of such tenancies over 34 years. MOST letting agents aren't experienced in this field. However some are, and many first class agencies (often where the agency is merely an extension of the management already being carried out for the agency's owners/directors properties) will charge 10% of gross rent received (plus vat if applicable).

If properly managed, these can be amongst the very best tenancies. Someone above was feeling pretty pleased about keeping private tenants in place for a couple of years. I've a few "DSS tenancies" which have been in place for over twenty years. Get the idea?







Black Sport 160

1,575 posts

104 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th June 2010 quote quote all
Groak - what part of the UK does your firm operate in?

groak

3,254 posts

64 months

[news] 
Saturday 19th June 2010 quote quote all
Black Sport 160 said:
Groak - what part of the UK does your firm operate in?
Glasgow and 30 mile radius.

Wings

4,465 posts

100 months

[news] 
Sunday 20th June 2010 quote quote all
Eric Mc said:
I have a client who lets out bed sits mainly to council tenants. On the whole, he finds them reliable tenants.

What you read in the Daily Mail does not always reflect reality.

The biggest disaster one of my clients had with a tenant was a house which was rented out to a person who claimed to be a titled personage from continental Europe. He was eventually evicted owing over £20,000 rent and having caused around £30,000 damage to the property.

Bad tenants can come from all walks of life.
Absolutely agree, bad tenants come in all forms of disguises.

I let properties through my local council’s housing department, one such former tenant I let into a property under darkness, emergency housing, due to his then home, a tent, having been stolen from the local park.

It was quite sad to view his effects, an old black & white TV on a box, mattress on floor, a chair that once formed part of a 3 pce. suite.

The tenant left after a few months, although not leaving the property void of his above effects, but with several months of rental arrears. I felt very sorry for this tenant, a long way from his native Scotland, late 50’s, and possibly finding it extremely difficult to get back into any normality of a “normal” lifestyle.

I still let to people on housing benefits, and I still get caught out with rental arrears, but no more than those tenants in employment.




Edited by Wings on Sunday 20th June 14:32

Black Sport 160

1,575 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd June 2010 quote quote all
groak said:
Black Sport 160 said:
Groak - what part of the UK does your firm operate in?
Glasgow and 30 mile radius.
OK, thanks for that.

Bit far from me, though.

Pity you don't operate in the NW Kent / SE London area smile

lm0159

1 posts

47 months

[news] 
Friday 15th October 2010 quote quote all
groak said:
Black Sport 160 said:
Groak - what part of the UK does your firm operate in?
Glasgow and 30 mile radius.
Hi Groak,
I have a 2 bed flat in Barrhead which I'm keen to lease, but less keen on any associated heartache - perhaps you could PM me, and we can arrange a chat about your company taking it on. If it's not your area; no worries.

Cheers.

superlightr

6,935 posts

148 months

[news] 
Friday 15th October 2010 quote quote all
Wings said:
Eric Mc said:
I have a client who lets out bed sits mainly to council tenants. On the whole, he finds them reliable tenants.

What you read in the Daily Mail does not always reflect reality.

The biggest disaster one of my clients had with a tenant was a house which was rented out to a person who claimed to be a titled personage from continental Europe. He was eventually evicted owing over £20,000 rent and having caused around £30,000 damage to the property.

Bad tenants can come from all walks of life.
Absolutely agree, bad tenants come in all forms of disguises.

I let properties through my local council’s housing department, one such former tenant I let into a property under darkness, emergency housing, due to his then home, a tent, having been stolen from the local park.

It was quite sad to view his effects, an old black & white TV on a box, mattress on floor, a chair that once formed part of a 3 pce. suite.

The tenant left after a few months, although not leaving the property void of his above effects, but with several months of rental arrears. I felt very sorry for this tenant, a long way from his native Scotland, late 50’s, and possibly finding it extremely difficult to get back into any normality of a “normal” lifestyle.

I still let to people on housing benefits, and I still get caught out with rental arrears, but no more than those tenants in employment.




Edited by Wings on Sunday 20th June 14:32
you dont take out a rent warrenty cover? We offer this free for 6 months to our Landlords. We have very very few rent arrears as we actually work hard to make sure we have good tenants for our Landlords.

Edited by superlightr on Friday 15th October 10:34

groak

3,254 posts

64 months

[news] 
Saturday 16th October 2010 quote quote all
lm0159 said:
groak said:
Black Sport 160 said:
Groak - what part of the UK does your firm operate in?
Glasgow and 30 mile radius.
Hi Groak,
I have a 2 bed flat in Barrhead which I'm keen to lease, but less keen on any associated heartache - perhaps you could PM me, and we can arrange a chat about your company taking it on. If it's not your area; no worries.

Cheers.
YHM
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