Weymouth and Portland working in partnership with the private rented sector
The council works closely with Weymouth and District Landlords Association who are affiliated to National Landlords Association. Membership of these associations helps keep all local landlords up to date with legislation and other issues while offering benefits such as discount insurance packages and reductions on building materials.
Working with private landlords
Between 400 and 500 people approach the council every month for help with a housing issue. A large number of these approaches are from people looking for private rented accommodation.
Our Housing Advice Service aims to match clients seeking housing with landlords seeking tenants.
As part of its strategy to tackle homelessness in the borough. The council is committed to helping clients of its Housing Advice Department secure good quality accommodation in the private rented sector.
What we can offer you - the private landlord:
- Prompt referrals with no admin fees
- We will refer prospective tenants to suit your property quickly, efficiently and at no charge. The final choice of tenant for your property will always be yours. We will refer prospective tenants until you meet the right one for your accommodation
Deposit or bond and rent in advance
Once you have offered a tenancy to a referral from us we can consider paying a reasonable deposit providing you comply with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Legislation introduced in April 2007 as part of the Housing Act 2004. We will also pay you the first month's rent to secure the tenancy.
As an alternative to a cash deposit, the council will provide a bond up to the value of a reasonable deposit. As no money is changing hands at the start of the tenancy under the terms of the bond, the legislation does not apply.
Where a deposit is paid to you by the council and you are protecting the deposit under one of the insurance schemes, we will ask you to repay the deposit or any amount of the deposit not under dispute direct to us within 14 days from the end of the tenancy. We will ask you to sign an agreement to this effect before any payment is made.
Inventory and Schedule of Condition
If required, we will assist you in preparing an inventory and schedule of condition of the fixtures, fittings and any furnishings in your property. This will also have to be agreed between us and signed before the tenancy starts.
Help with Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
The majority of tenants we refer to you will be eligible for help with their rent from LHA which has replaced Housing Benefit for all new private tenants as from 7 April 2008. Unlike Housing Benefit, unless good cause can be shown LHA cannot be paid direct to the landlord.
Where tenants are eligible for LHA, Housing Advice staff will work with to ensure the claim is processed quickly and if possible paid direct to the landlord. Where it is not possible, we will advise and assist the tenant in making arrangements to set up a direct debit or standing order with their bank to pay their rent to their landlord.
Support for new tenancies
There will be support services available to the tenant, if required, during the tenancy. This strategy is aimed at minimising the impact of any problems that may arise. Staff will also respond appropriately to address any concerns you may have as the tenancy progresses.
Getting your property back
If you decide you want your property back at the end of the tenancy we will endeavour to find alternative accommodation for the tenant with the minimum of inconvenience to you and wherever possible avoiding the need for eviction proceedings through the county court.
Other specialist council services
We can quickly put you in touch with the right person in the council for expert advice on a range of issues and legislation relating to private landlords renting out property, such as building control, planning and environmental health.
If you are considering becoming a landlord or need advice about an existing tenancy or housing benefit problem we can assist or arrange to put you in contact with the council department that may provide the information you require.