Landlords across Adur and Worthing are being urged to sign up to the area’s new, free letting agency with the aim of providing local families safe and secure homes.
Run by Adur & Worthing Councils, Opening Doors offers property owners a comprehensive letting service including financial security, legal assistance and landlord support – and all for free.
The aim is to provide those local families who need accommodation safe and secure places to live without having to move out of Adur and Worthing.
Landlords are being offered a range of incentives to sign up to the scheme, which includes the promise of no commission or fees and guaranteed rent for up to two years.
It comes just weeks after the government introduced a ban on landlords and letting agents in England from charging tenants letting fees.
One of those families already benefiting from Opening Doors is Jordan and Ellie Rome, who moved into a property in Southwick a few months ago.
Since then, with the blessing of the landlord, they have repainted and refurbished the downstairs of the home. The garden has also been cleared with a new fence and gate installed.
Jordan, who works for a trades retailer, said: “We’re really pleased with the property provided through Opening Doors. The service from the team has been excellent, They are really responsive and always available to deal with any issues within a few hours.
“With three young children it’s really important for us that we have somewhere that allows us to establish roots. This home allows us to provide stability and, being in the trades, I don’t mind doing some work to improve the place too!”
Opening Doors is free to all landlords using the service. As part of the contract, the Councils will arrange the tenancy agreement, inventory and service documents for no charge.
The dedicated support team will also collect the rent, guaranteeing that this will be paid every month for up to two years. Legal assistance is also provided, if and when required while financial support is available in the unlikely event of repairs and court costs.
All homes will be inspected prior to being let to tenants. Landlords needing to carry out repairs could have access to grant support of up to £5,000.
While Opening Doors is aimed at those with properties in the Adur and Worthing area, some homes in neighbouring areas will be considered.
Councillor Carson Albury, Adur District Council’s executive member for customer services, said: “I’m delighted to see the launch of this innovative new way to provide good-quality homes to local people.
“Given the huge number of benefits that Opening Doors offers to landlords, it is no surprise that we already have a host of people already signed up to this excellent scheme. It could also reduce the amount of Bed and Breakfast accommodation we have to provide, potentially saving us and the taxpayer thousands of pounds.”
Councillor Heather Mercer, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for customer services, said: “Opening Doors really is a win-win, giving landlords the security of guaranteed rent at no cost and tenants the security of a home on a secure agreement within the local area. This is all backed up by a cast-iron council guarantee.
“I look forward to seeing many more landlords to join up to the scheme in the coming months.”
Anyone wanting further information on Opening Doors can call 01903 221110 or visit www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/opening-doors