1,500 buy to let properties will be made available to City of Edinburgh Council through an ambitious private sector leasing scheme that goes live this week.
Through the scheme the authority leases the housing needed
through one specialist provider who sources the properties from buy to let landlords.
Property services group Orchard & Shipman plc has contracted with City of Edinburgh Council to procure a total of 1,500 properties over the next five years. This will significantly increase the options the Council can offer homeless people.
The company has already proved the viability of private sector leasing to enable local authorities to fulfil their statutory housing obligations.
They have provided over 900 properties for the London Borough of Hillingdon and a smaller portfolio for the Spelthorne District Council.
In Edinburgh, properties acquired for the scheme will be made available throughout the City so as to ensure that private sector leasing properties are not concentrated in any one area. This is in keeping with the Council’s
commitment to promote sustainable communities. The scheme will be the largest of its kind in the UK.
Buy to let landlords who make their properties available through these schemes have the security of a long let of up to five years with no voids, rents paid quarterly in advance, no management fees and the return of the property in a good condition.
Under the terms of their contract with Orchard & Shipman, local authorities get the housing they need through a single provider with the skills to provide a property management service as well as comprehensive management services for the tenants.
Under private sector leasing, contracts are generally for three to five years. Landlords get market rent less about 15% but the money is guaranteed and paid three months in advance. There are no voids or arrears and no agent’s fees to the landlord. If a tenant should damage the property,
it is repaired.
Chris Shipman, chairman of Orchard & Shipman, says: “These schemes started because government was keen to address the challenge of homelessness by providing families with appropriate self contained accommodation. The success we have had in implementing them is due to specialist staff with the complex skill set that is needed to care for the interests of both landlords and tenants.”