At this months PDPLA members meeting both Elaine Bastable and Lucy Smith from Portsmouth City Council (PCC) Housing Options team spoke to us about how they can work with us to find homes forÂ families that would otherwise be homeless through their bond guarantee scheme, Access.Â
Some of the benefits of using this scheme are that PCC will find you tenants, where the tenant cannot raise funds for a deposit, PCC will underwrite up to one months rent in lieu of a deposit for loss or damage to your property and they will produce an inventory free of charge. They will not be able to provide references and guarantees, but will undertake background checks for those tenants relating to rent arrears and anti-social behaviour. Compared to using a letting agent, where you will be charged finders fees, inventory and admin fees this appears to be a very good deal.Â Added to this, they will help to ensure that the tenants complete and submit the correct housing benefit claim forms and fast track the claim. So this sounds a very good deal for any landlords looking for long term family lets. Should there be issues during the tenancy, PCC are very keen to help ensure good communications all round and to resolve those issues. Should this not be possible, they assured us that they would look to work with you and your tenant and find alternative accommodation for families who are not deemed intentionally homeless, as soon as the appropriate paperwork had been served, rather than waiting until a court order had been produced and agreed date reached as is more normal in these circumstances.
Malcolm Drew, Treasurer of the PDPLA, stated "we have housedÂ around two dozen tenants in this way, with the support of PCC,Â over the years and we still have at least 10 of those most of who have stayed for over 6 years"
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.