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30 households resettled after launch of rent guarantee initiative

Key in a door

A Sheffield City Council housing initiative has provided 30 households with new homes in affordable, private rented properties thanks to a rent guarantee scheme that was introduced in May last year.

Our Private Rented Solutions (PRS) scheme helps people who are registered with the Council to rent safe, affordable, long-term houses in the private sector, by matching applicants to suitable properties provided to the scheme by private landlords.

The scheme has been successfully in place for a number of years but last spring the benefits were enhanced to include a rent guarantee scheme and a damage liability scheme, which saw a flurry of landlords sign up our free initiative.

The latest additions to the scheme mean that rent is guaranteed for 12months, or 6-months if it’s a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and any costs incurred from damage within the same period will also be covered. A cash-less bond that lasts for the length of the tenancy, which typically continues for longer than the initial fixed term as many tenants live happily in their private property for several years, is also provided.

Now we are encouraging more landlords to take advantage of the free service to help provide greater choice in property types and locations for the city’s residents.

Councillor Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said:

“The Private Rented Solutions scheme is a great way for landlords and letting agents to rent out their properties, while helping the council find suitable accommodation for people looking for a rented home. The service is free and with the amount of support available to landlords such as guaranteed rent and damage liability cover, it really is a win-win for everyone. I hope more landlords will take advantage of this beneficial scheme and look forward to pairing more people with safe and affordable homes in the city.”

Other benefits to landlords include a comprehensive support package provided by the PRS team for the duration of the tenancy, from attending viewings and helping tenants with their finances or benefits through to on-going tenancy support provided by an experienced resettlement officer. Properties are usually matched quickly to a tenant but when the need arises the team can market a house or flat using the Sheffield Property Shop which is used regularly by a diverse range of customers, providing a wider customer base for the landlord too.

Landlords retain overall management of their property including repairs and maintenance and have a dedicated point of contact throughout the tenancy. Landlords are not obliged to let their property through the scheme, and they can withdraw their property if they find their own tenant before entering into an agreement.

Roger Willey, a landlord who rents properties through the scheme said:

“I started letting properties through PRS ten years ago. Since then the offer to landlords has improved greatly with the recent addition of the guaranteed rent scheme and damage cover, although I’ve never had any damage to my properties in this scheme. The team are attentive and always very helpful and approachable.

“The great enemy of landlords is a void in the market but with PRS and access to their range of clients, this problem is removed.”

How to register your interest

Private Rented Solutions welcome properties of all types from family housing to single flats. Landlords or letting agents who are ready to register their interest in working with PRS to rent their property can do so by visiting the PRS website or emailing privaterentedsolutions@sheffield.gov.uk to request further information.

If landlords do join the scheme they aren’t then committed to working with the council; they still have the option to look for their own tenants whilst at the same time also being registered with the Private Rented Solutions Scheme.

Once landlords or their agents register their interest, a PRS housing solutions officer will contact them usually within 1 working day to discuss the next steps. If they then decide to go ahead with joining the PRS scheme, the council arranges for their property to be inspected

Anyone with questions can visit the PRS website or call Claire on 07391863081 (Monday – Wednesday) or Sally on 07464536707 (Wednesday – Friday) for other team members numbers call the PRS team on 0114 205 3112.