Oxford guarantees landlords rent for homeless risk tenants

Oxford City Council has launched a new scheme designed to guarantee rents to private landlords letting to tenants at risk of homelessness

A rent guarantee scheme has been launched this week by Oxford City Council, offering guaranteed rent and various other benefits to landlords who let their properties to tenants who are at higher risk of homelessness, such as those receiving Housing Benefit.

The new service is aiming to address private landlords’ concerns about the effects of changes to Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and tax. Under the terms of the scheme, the council will make sure that rent is paid for the whole term of the tenancy, regardless of whether the council receives the rent from the tenant.

Rent will even continue to be paid to the landlord during periods when a property is empty.

Rent guarantee does what it says on the tin

“Following the Government’s changes to Housing Benefit, we can understand the concerns that some private landlords may have about letting their properties to tenants at risk of homelessness,” said Oxford City Council’s Board Member for Housing, Councillor Mike Rowley.

“The rent guarantee scheme does what it says on the tin – it removes such concerns and gives the landlord guaranteed rent without fail, even when the property is unoccupied.

“The scheme is free of charges, free of rent arrears, free of loss from empty lets, and frees up the landlord from the hassle of tenant selection.”

Administration fees will be waived by the council for both landlords and tenants. Landlords will also get free legal information and benefit from a council-provided account manager, responsible for supplying advice on compliance with the law and other council services.

Comprehensive assessments of all prospective tenants will be made by the City Council, and only approved when officers are satisfied the applicant can sustain a private tenancy. The authority will also be providing support for tenants to make sure they are prepared and able to rent successfully over the long term.

If you are an Oxford landlords and would like to find out more about the rent guarantee scheme, you can contact Oxford’s Private Housing Coach and Account Manager, Mahmoud El Mahdy, or call 01865 252912.

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