Housing - Keys

Council seeks local landlords with property for let

The COVID-19 crisis has left more people than ever living in temporary accommodation so West Oxfordshire District Council is looking to team up with local landlords to help those in need.

In West Oxfordshire there are currently 39 households living in temporary accommodation. (Figures correct as of 26 May 2020).

The council is calling for anyone with a property available for private letting to get in touch.

Whether a property is available immediately or in the coming year, whether it is currently listed with an estate agent or they are an independent landlord, the council wants to hear from them.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the private lettings and sales market has stalled and although the government has eased restrictions and estate agents are beginning to open, this crisis has left many landlords with empty accommodation and without an income.

Many holiday lets have also seen losses due to Covid-19 and although local housing authority rates cannot match their usual incomes they may find it useful to gain a steady income without the advertising and turnaround costs, at least in the short to midterm.

With many people being furloughed, or experiencing job losses many have lost not just their jobs, but their home too. So by working with West Oxfordshire District Council landlords can help themselves and those in need.

By renting through the council, landlords can enjoy a range of benefits including no agency fees, a free property assessment and an ongoing comprehensive package of support for both landlords and tenants.

The council can support tenants with rent in advance and a deposit.

Some landlords may have concerns about whether tenants who are entitled to some form of housing benefit can manage their monthly payments. If so, they may be able to organise an Alternative Payment Arrangement so rent payments will be paid directly to them.

The council’s bespoke service provides ongoing tenancy support to both tenants and landlords. The  team can help to bridge any communication gaps and help tenants with a range of things from navigating the benefits system, to helping somebody gain employment; ultimately helping to sustain tenancies.

The council also has in house client support officers who can assist people in financial difficulty by offering advice and assistance.

In some circumstances where people are suffering exceptional hardship an extra payment called a Discretionary Housing Payment can be awarded to help with housing costs. This can be a real lifeline for those looking to leave temporary accommodation and move back into a property they can call home.

Cllr Jeff Haine, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “If you’re a landlord with property available for private letting, there’s never been a better time to work with our private rented team here at West Oxfordshire District Council.

“If you have an empty property this scheme will help you bring in an income and you’ll be able to make a real difference to the lives of local people who’ve been struggling with the knock on effects of this pandemic.”

To get in touch and find out more please email prs@westoxon.gov.uk

Contact Information

West Oxfordshire District Council Communications Team