OpenRent Community

Renting to the local council

Experienced landlords in the group - advice/ pointers welcome.

I have been approached by my local council to rent my BTL 2 bed flat. They are saying the council will pay the first month rent + deposit, and from.month 2, DWP will pay the rent direct to me. They are also agreeing to market rate on the rent and are also happy for me to reference the prospective tenants ( who I assume will fail the reference which is why the council is stepping in).

I have never done this before - so any feedback/ advice/ pointers welcome,

1 Like

I wouldn’t even consider it. By definition, the tenants they will place in your property are the ones that would not be considered by any landlord or agent. There are lots of horror stories about this on the landlord forums. Have a read of them.

4 Likes

the tenants are going to fail.? So who will Guarrantor them I bet the council wont do that . Even if they did this is not something I would do. Will they pay for any damage? dont do it

2 Likes

@David122 @Colin3

Thank you for your inputs. I am planning to speak with the council tomorrow to understand what they mean and how will tenant vetting be done. Prima facie, based on your experience, I am going in with the position that I do not want to do it,

I wonder if they let you meet up with the tenant. Let us know. I am guessing no. but i could be wrong . I met up with one once… He smelt of drink at 11 am . not for me … his reference from the job seeking council dpt. was like a Halo above him . totally fraudulent ., as they did not know that I knew about him from his boss

2 Likes

From what other landlords have told me, they may make promises they can’t deliver, so listen with that filter

1 Like

Your contract will be with the tenant NOT the council so if the tenant does not receive their benefits they/council will not pay you rent, which then becomes a nightmare. If the council are agreeing to pay you direct that means the tenant has some underlying issues which make them unreliable to pay you themselves. I’ve dealt with with many councils and benefit tenants in the past - whilst some tenants are great, some are not and then dealing with the council is a nightmare. I would avoid if I were you. It’s simply not worth the risk.

5 Likes

All - thxs everyone for your inputs. I spoke with the local council this morning. They were quite iffy about the whole process and I did not get a good feeling about it. So I have decided not to progress with the council

5 Likes

You just saved yourself a whole lot of hassle!

3 Likes

Bullet dodged. Move on.

3 Likes

Netra, I’m surprised the L/A are agreeing to pay you the full “Market” rent - as opposed to just the LHA Allowance (fixed Local Housing Allowance based on the number of bedrooms).

3 Likes

“not acceptable for social housing/ council properties” well that says it all… why should private landlords take them then.???

5 Likes

that is the same in life If you dont earn enough you cant rent, if you dont earn enough you cant buy a car, or go on holiday, or buy a big tv… anything, But its not down to a private landlord to sort out . I repeat …too many council houses were sold off too cheaply. thus not enough homes for the neady

2 Likes

I rent my ex-council flat to my local authority (hounslow) but that is because it is hard to find tenants on the open market.

We use a Public sector leasing plan which is far more generous than what they are proposing so see if they can do a better deal.

I rent to the council, the council guarantees rent and does all hands-on management with the tenent(s). In theory they need to return the property to me in the same state at the end of the period but I need to cover normal wear and tear.

ITs been 8 years and I’ve had a good rent with no management fees and no void periods, The flat has has had a lot of damage but I’ve only had to cover redecorating, other damage has been addressed by the council.

If you have a premium flat in a good area avoid this otherwise with the right plan it can help you maximise income.

edit: Should add it can be hard to get the council to agree to fixing damage, I am thankful my flat was built in the 60s and is solid as a rock.

4 Likes

I am an experienced landlord
Assuming i could not be “taken” however renting to my local authority proved an absolute nightmare

Promises that were not promises-only aspiration

Lease terms which meant they could cancel or extend at their whim

When the police came calling my local authority told me it was not their problem

Deposits-not in any AST recognised way
“worthless inventories”

Finally,daring me to sue them once tenants finally left if i wasnt satisfied!

Never ,ever again!

Doctor David Noble

5 Likes

your experience says it all . You CANNOT TRUST the local councils. they are only interested in getting problems off their backs onto someone else

4 Likes

I have a property I was having a problem finding a tenant for so when the council sent me an email telling me that they could find a tenant for me I was very interested.
On the surface the deal looked very good. The council were actually willing to pay more rent than I expected and had a £500 allowance for any damages at the end of the tenancy as well as a £500 grant to help pay for any work that needed doing to achieve the councils standards.
The only stipulation being that I had to offer a 12 month tenancy.
Well the first desperate tenant only lasted a month before moving out and leaving a right mess to clean up and damaged to the lino in the kitchen. The council promised they would find me a replacement and true to their word did.
A very pleasant young lady with two young children moved in. She like the first tenant was desperate to be houses since she was being evicted the following day “due to no fault of her own,” ten months into her 12 month tenancy she moved out. Shortly after the property gets repeated visits from the police trying to locate the tenant.

Sat no more.

3 Likes

no no no no! The council is not your friend - listen most carefully to their arrangement - nothing but grief with the council - they close ranks, use data protection to put barriers up - go to one of their meetings - its all about bullying the landlord and protecting the tenants - who do not pay rent, destroy your property - i should write a book. But dont need to because every landlord must be law of low average have horror stories to tell.

3 Likes

phew - btw - my ‘social’ tenants have just decided to keep their local authority rent - we have six months minimum for the new lockdown evictions (the tenants are laughing to the bank). it will take months after the six months for judicial process ! The council and UC are protecting them by not conversing with the landlord, and using data protection as barrier to prevent fraud and theft of rent. This is compounded by shelter, who is using covid to push their political leftie values of entitlement to other people’s property.

2 Likes

no no no! i have been caught out by the desperate people, i am so sorry for their plight - the council will not be responsible, will not aid you, as your problems with a non-paying destructive tenant is not their concern- ridding themselves of the people who find themselves homeless (by not paying their rent and the other things that cause them to be dispossessed) - and councils will use their might to destroy your faith in ‘giving people a chance’. Do not be beguiled by ££s the councils imagine that cash is all you care about and think their offer will distract you. Be warned … woe woe and thrice woe!

3 Likes