Private sector housing
On this page:
- Waltham Forest Landlords Forum
- Waltham Forest Private Sector Stock Condition Survey
- Private Sector Housing Renewal Assistance Policy
- Warm Front grant
- Insulation works
- Fire Safety in your home
- Energy advice and assistance
- Private Sector Leasing Scheme
- Responsibilities of the landlord
- Responsibilities of the Managing Agent
- How to join the scheme
- Nightly paid temporary accommodation
Information about living in the private sector and the Private Sector Leasing Scheme.
Waltham Forest Landlords Forum
Landlords Forum: 18 September 2012
The last Landlords Forum took place on 18 September and was well-attended with over 40 landlords coming along.
Topics which were discussed included selective licensing, working with troubled families, updates on Housing Benefit and the newly launched lettings agency, Lettings Waltham Forest.
The presentations from the event can be downloaded below:
To find out about future events, please contact the Private Sector Housing team on 020 8496 3000 or email email@example.com
Waltham Forest Private Sector Stock Condition Survey
The Council conducted a private sector stock condition survey in 2011, to provide an overview of the housing situation in Waltham Forest, looking at the standards of housing stock condition in terms of disrepair, unfitness, energy efficiency, decency, and severity of hazards. You can download the full report below:
Private Sector Stock Condition Survey June 2011 (1.66MB PDF file)
Private Sector Housing Renewal Assistance Policy
The Council’s Private Sector Housing Renewal Assistance Policy sets out available assistance for residents living in poor condition housing in the borough.
Download a copy of the policy (125KB PDF file)
Warm Front grant
The Warm Front Scheme ended on 19 January 2013. You can’t apply for it now but existing applications will still be processed.
Waltham Forest has been working in partnership with HEET to offer Energy Efficiency and remedial repairs to residents including:
- Loft / boiler / pipe insulation
- Cavity wall insulation
- Draught proofing to windows and doors; and
- Some Heating measures
For more information telephone HEET on 020 8520 1900.
Fire Safety in your home
Many fires in the home are caused by a single moment of carelessness and could be easily prevented. It is important to be aware of possible fire hazards around the home and to take steps to protect you and your family from fire.
For information and advice about fire safety in your home please visit the DirectGov website.
Energy advice and assistance
The North East London Energy efficiency Advice Centre, situated at 31 Church Hill E17, provides a one-stop energy efficiency service for residents. They offer:
- Home Energy Checks – by filling in a questionnaire residents will receive tailored advice about how to save energy in their homes and also receive free low-energy bulbs
- Advice – residents can visit the centre, telephone or request a home visit
- Grants – In partnership with Waltham Forest, NELEEAC are able to offer a limited number of grants to residents of up to £2,000 towards the cost of central heating installation and other measures
For more information call (free phone) 0800 458 7107.
Energy saving tips
- Turning your thermostat down by 1ºC could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent
- Always turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Ensure taps are turned off – in one-week a dripping tap wastes enough hot water to fill a bath!
- Only boil as much water as you need
- Replace light bulbs with energy saving ones – they last up to 12 times longer and save energy
- Do not leave appliances on stand-by or on charge unnecessarily
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should not be set higher than 60ºC/140ºF
- Draw your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping!
Private Sector Leasing Scheme
The Private Sector Acquisitions Team works in partnership with Managing Agents, who are either housing associations or private managing agents, to provide a leasing scheme that benefits both private landlords and tenants. As an owner of a property you would be required to enter into a three year lease with one of our partner Managing Agents. They would pay the rent to you on a monthly basis, and this is guaranteed regardless of whether or not the property is occupied. The way the rent can be guaranteed is that the Council then enters into a sub lease agreement with the Managing Agent and allocates a tenant to the property. The Managing Agent is responsible for managing the property and the tenants throughout the term of the lease. They are required to inspect the property at least once every two months.
Benefits to the landlord
- A three year lease contract, with the possible option of renewing for another three years
- Guaranteed rent for the term of the lease regardless of whether there is a tenant in the property or not
- Rent paid monthly
- A full property management and maintenance service with regular inspections
- Full management of tenancy issues
- Vacant possession of the property at the end of the lease (subject to adequate notice being given to allow for rehousing of tenants).
Details of the scheme
The rents are set by the Council. Details of the specific rent for your property will be discussed with you individually at the initial inspection.
The rent is fixed for the term of the lease.
Type of property required
We are looking for self-contained accommodation, such as houses, flats, maisonettes and bungalows. The size of properties required varies according to current demand.
Location of properties
Currently, our main demand is for properties located within the boundaries of Waltham Forest. In some circumstances we may consider accepting properties outside the borough.
We require the property to be partly furnished, as detailed below:
- Fitted carpets or floor coverings in every room
- Heavy curtains as well as net curtains
- Gas or electric cooker
- Fridge / freezer
- Plumbing for a washing machine
- Light shades
Term of lease
Leases are for three years.
Before any property is accepted on to the leasing scheme, it must meet our minimum standards. The purpose of having these standards is to ensure that the quality of properties is consistently high. The property must have central heating (with a 3 star service contract for gas boilers), be decorated to a good standard, and meet all health and safety requirements.
Responsibilities of the landlord
The landlord is responsible for the repairs/maintenance of the exterior and structure of the property, the plumbing, as well as the gas, water, electrical and heating installations. These repairs are specified in the lease and are set out in Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
The Managing Agent will inspect the property on a regular basis and will advise you of any repairs that are required. You can either arrange to have the repairs done yourself, or the Managing Agent can arrange to have the works done on your behalf.
The landlord is responsible for the building insurance on the property throughout the lease period. It will be necessary for you to contact your insurers to advise them of your plans to lease the property.
Utility bills and Council Tax
When occupied, the tenant is responsible for the utility bills (water, gas, electricity, telephone etc) and Council Tax.
Responsibilities of the Managing Agent
Payment of rent
The rent is paid monthly in arrears, direct into your bank account or by cheque
The Managing Agent will inspect the property on a regular basis, at least once every two months. During these visits they will make note of any repairs that need to be done, and ensure that the property is being well looked after by the tenant.
Repairs and maintenance
In addition to regular property inspections, each Managing Agent provides a maintenance telephone hotline so that tenants can ring at any time to report repairs. The tenant is responsible for meeting the cost of any damage they may cause.
Reinstatement of property at the end of the lease
If at the end of the lease you require the property to be handed back (rather than renewing the lease), the Managing Agent will undertake a full inspection to assess the condition of the property. They will return the property, in accordance with the lease, to you in the same condition that it was in at the start of the lease, fair wear and tear excepted. This reinstatement does not include replacing the carpet or other floor coverings or furnishings provided.
Responsibilities of the Council
- Allocate a tenant to a property
- Monitor the performance of the Managing Agents
- Co-ordinate the handling of complaints from tenants and landlords
How to join the scheme
- Contact one of our approved managing agents.
- The Managing Agent will arrange a time to inspect the property. They will advise you of what works need to be done to bring the property up to our standards
- Once all the necessary works have been completed, the Managing Agent will undertake a final inspection and then arrange with you to sign the lease documents.
- Once your lease has been signed, the Managing Agent will send a 'Property Ready' notification form to Private Sector Acquisitions Team.
- On receiving the notification, the Private Sector Acquisitions Team will arrange for a family to be allocated to the property. The family will get the opportunity to view the property so as to ascertain that the property is suitable for their requirements.
- Once the family has accepted the property, the Private Sector Acquisitions Team will arrange for them to sign the tenancy agreement.
Nightly paid temporary accommodation
If you think your property is not suited for the Private Sector Leasing Scheme, it may be more suitable for nightly paid temporary accommodation.
This is accommodation the Council uses to provide temporary housing to households while their applications for housing are assessed. The Council only pays for the accommodation for the nights it is actually used. The Council procures this accommodation from its approved suppliers. If you are interested in offering your property for use as nightly paid temporary accommodation, you will need to contact one of our approved suppliers.
You will be required to enter into a contract with the supplier. The Council does not dictate the terms of the contracts which are between landlords and the suppliers.
Before any property is accepted on to the leasing scheme, it must meet our minimum standards. The purpose of having these standards is to ensure that the quality of properties is consistently high. The property must have central heating (with a three star service contract for gas boilers), be decorated to a good standard, and meet all health and safety requirements.
For more information on the minimum property standards refer to the Private Sector Leasing property standards (63KB PDF file)
If you would like more information about Private Sector Leasing please contact the Private Sector Acquisitions Team on 020 8496 5523, or firstname.lastname@example.org.