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Waltham Forest Council launch new lettings agency to support key workers

Friday, October 28, 2016 - Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Council has launched a new market rent lettings agency as part of its plans to tackle London’s housing crisis and support key workers living in the borough.

According to the council, the new agency which will run under the ‘Lettings Waltham Forest’ brand will offer good quality, suitably priced accommodation to key workers in the borough – including those in the emergency services and childcare, healthcare and education professionals.

The lettings agency was launched at an event at Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow on 18 October, which was attended by a number of local landlords and agents. They have a target to sign up at least 20 properties within the first year and as an incentive, they are offering to refund the selective licensing fee when landlords sign up.

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, Waltham Forest Council said:

In Waltham Forest we recognise the vitally important role that our key workers play in keeping our city running, so we want to ensure they are able to find good quality, affordable homes in the borough.

"Our new market rent lettings agency will help us to do this, and give residents the peace of mind that they are renting through an established, Council-run property management service.

We understand that letting a property can often be a risky and complicated businesses, so we are keen to work with responsible landlords in the borough. By working in collaboratively with private landlords we can continue our campaign to drive up property standards in Waltham Forest.

The first properties to be made available for rent via the new agency can be viewed online now at www.lettingswalthamforest.co.uk/properties-to-rent/. Properties will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and will be available to key workers exclusively for the first seven days.

All properties made available through the scheme will be offered at market rent prices or lower, with no extra tenant fees to pay.

The benefits for landlords include no set-up fees in the first year, full management, rent collection and let only services, thorough tenant checks, a £100 contribution towards a rent guarantee insurance policy and a cash incentive of up to £750.

London Property Licensing has been told that the management fee will be negotiated for each letting and the fee structure will be competitive with the market. Under the market rent product, the landlord will receive near the market rent for the property. A spokesperson for the council told us that the market rent lettings product is not being subsidised by the council and all costs will be recovered over the lifespan of the project.

Landlords will also have access to a range of other commercial services offered by the Council, such as pest control and large item collections.

Landlords and tenants can find out more about Lettings Waltham Forest by emailing lettingswalthamforest@walthamforest.gov.uk or phoning 020 8946 5525.

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