A new initiative offering private landlords the chance to rent out their properties through Neath Port Talbot Council has been given the go ahead.
Members of the council’s Social Services, Housing and Community Safety Cabinet Board agreed to implement the Welsh Government’s Leasing Scheme Wales (LSW) at their metting in December 2022.
Under the arrangement, the council will lease properties from private sector landlords and sub-let the properties to those it has a duty to protect from homelessness.
In addition the scheme will provide an extra intervention to tackle empty properties and poor housing conditions in the private sector that can adversely affect local communities.
The scheme is intended to act as a resource for council Homelessness Teams seeking to move households on from temporary accommodation.
The intention is to lease a maximum of 82 properties in Neath Port Talbot by the end of March 2027 starting with four by March 2023 and increasing each year, with funding for the scheme being in place for an additional five years until 2032.
Under the scheme, councils will take on specific obligations in relation to the maintenance of properties, the rent being paid to the owners. A renovation incentive can also be offered to landlords where properties don’t meet minimum property standards or to improve the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
The renovation incentive will be a grant of up to £5,000
Empty properties can be brought into the scheme and will be eligible for higher renovation incentives. Empty properties may be eligible for a grant up to a maximum of £25,000. Grants of more than £10,000 will require approval from Welsh Government.
Renovation incentives will only be offered to landlords who sign up to the scheme. If a renovation incentive is approved then local authorities can claim the amount of grant from Welsh Government.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member of Housing and Community Safety, Cllr Alun Llewelyn, said:
“The scheme will help tackle homelessness by making more properties available and the aim is to improve the quality of private sector rental homes.
“It’s essential that tenants receive the support they need, and this scheme will provide that.”