Published Friday, 08 January 2021
Thirty properties have been let thanks to a new rent guarantee scheme in Coventry which provides more permanent affordable tenancies for homeless families.
Let’s Rent Coventry encourages private landlords to provide a tenancy at an affordable price and matches potential tenants, with landlords who have properties to let.
Officers in the Council’s Homeless and Homelessness Team set up the scheme, and they are keen to sign up more private landlords.
Let’s Rent Coventry was launched in May 2020 and numerous landlords have signed up to provide properties.
Landlords can sign up for either 12 to 24 months, and the Local Authority will match tenants with landlords.
Private sector landlords are working with the Council as part of the rental guarantee scheme, providing tenancies in order to alleviate homelessness in the city. The landlords can also benefit from a deposit covering up to five weeks rent.
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “I’m really pleased with the progress of Let’s Rent Coventry.
“It has many benefits: empty properties are filled; and both the private landlord and tenant have the security of knowing that the Council is facilitating the scheme so that the rent is affordable, and the landlord will receive guaranteed rent.”
“We have other projects that we have set up to address homelessness in the city. It also means that we can ensure that temporary accommodation is more cost effective, and offering more longer tenancies.”
Meanwhile the tenant has the reassurance that they can remain in the property without the threat of being moved out of the property. The Council provides a free service, lettings, inspections and the security of a 12 or 24-month tenancy, alongside guaranteed rent payments from the Council.
Cllr David Welsh added: “This project is reducing the costs of homelessness to the Council, offering security for tenants and provides an income for the landlord.”
Offering housing solutions
Shannon Darcy-Bromell has worked as an accommodation officer in the Council’s Housing and Homeless Team for the past eight months. In her role, Shannon has helped to expand the Let’s Rent Coventry programme.
Shannon says that it has been more challenging because of the local restrictions enforced during the Coronavirus pandemic but once landlords and tenants can see the mutual benefits it can provide a major impact on the wellbeing of families.
Shannon said: “We housed a family recently who had been in temporary accommodation for six months and had been searching for a permanent home privately and via Homefinder, to no avail.
“The family were struggling in their temporary accommodation due to the size and location of the property and the mother desperately wanted her children to have a bedroom of their own, as they were sharing with her.
“This family were offered a privately rented property closer to the children’s school and to their support network. They were elated to be offered a permanent home.”
The mum of three boys, who have moved into the property, said: “The positive effect the scheme has had on me and my family is astonishing, to finally have stability and the boys having their own room making them feel so safe and settled!
“I really appreciate all the help from Shannon and the team. We finally have a home!”
Shannon added: “We work with hundreds of families and individuals and we always strive to find solutions. When get positive feedback from families it makes my job such a privilege.”
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This is a great example of the work that the housing and homeless service has been doing. I’m delighted for the family and credit the work of Shannon and her many colleagues.”
Let’s Rent Coventry guarantees up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate for the period of the tenancy and, at the end of each successful year of the tenancy, the Council will make a bonus one-off payment equivalent to a month’s rent.”
For the latest LHA rates, visit the Council's website.
To be involved in the scheme it doesn’t matter whether properties are furnished or unfurnished. Properties will be inspected to check that landlords have up-to-date safety features and relevant certification for their properties.
As part of the scheme checks are made in advance to identify suitable tenants and landlords so that standards can be monitored and maintained.
A signed rent guarantee agreement is made between the Council and landlord.
The Council are looking for one to five bedroom properties throughout the city and have a number of suitable families ready to move into a new home.