Shropshire Council is the latest local authority looking to launch directly into the private rental sector, saying it aims to ‘set an example to local landlords’.

Cornovii Developments Limited (CDL) aims to build and sell about 2,000 homes to address housing needs while generating income for the local authority.

Work starts on its first development – Frith Close (pictured) in Crowmoor – next month, where homes will sell from £180,000.

CDL is now looking to hire a property consultancy to advise it on market opportunities for the private rented sector and will soon draw up an 18-month marketing plan, including a social media launch strategy.

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Jane Trethewey (pictured), Shropshire Council’s assistant director of homes and communities, tells LandlordZONE: “We think it could play a key role in maintaining high standards in the county’s rental offer, and ensure there is a range of good quality and well managed property types for those who want to rent by preference.

“The intention is to support typically younger, economically active households who want to maintain their mobility in the jobs market in Shropshire, as well as those for whom renting is a more affordable option than purchasing a home directly.”

She adds: “It’s quite an exciting opportunity for us to be able to set a challenge to other private sector landlords out there as to how to do this extremely well.”

Not convinced

But Gavin Dick (pictured), the National Residential Landlord Association’s local authority policy officer, is not convinced.

He tells LandlordZONE: “It’s a case of thinking they know best and saying they’ll bring up standards, but they will just chase the money rather than house those who are struggling.

“The result will be that they’ll show just how efficient private landlords are at giving value for money and the council will have to up its game to compete with them. If they think it’s easy, they’re in for a surprise.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. “The intention is to support typically younger, economically active households who want to maintain their mobility in the jobs market in Shropshire, as well as those for whom renting is a more affordable option than purchasing a home directly.”

    So that’ll be employed only then?

    She adds: “It’s quite an exciting opportunity for us to be able to set a challenge to other private sector landlords out there as to how to do this extremely well.”

    Letting properties to people who are “economically active” is the easiest sector. I’d really like to see what the council is offering families who rely completely on benefits for their income, and what they are offering the homeless. I bet the rent on the councils properties is a good bit higher than the £143.84 LHA rate for a 3 bed, thus disadvantaging the more economically challenged.

  2. They will get the legal obligations right I suspect, something that private landlords don’t always do, either through ignorance or criminal intent.
    That’s where they will show ‘us’ how it’s done ie- EPC, eicr, how to rent etc.
    After that they will be a joke as they always have been.
    Repairs will be prioritized as urgent (takes a week) bit less serious (a year) or non urgent( 5 years+) I’ve had to replace kitchen units that have rotted, replace a fence that had rotted and fallen down, unblock blocked drains and guttering caused by an overgrown council tree shedding leaves, fix a leaking brick built shed, all reported and logged years ago and no one has been out. These are elderly relatives of mine. My mum had no heating for a week a few winters back, she was 81, and no help with alternative warmth from them. If she had no family I think she could have died as it was -10 iirc.
    Private landlords are expected to repair everything same day.
    I had one tenant who’s boiler packed up and rang me, I was there in 20mins with electric heaters, boiler engineer was there 2 days later and said we need a new one. He said it would be 2 weeks as he was very busy, tried 2 more places and they had longer lead times so went with the original guy. In the meantime, 4 days after the breakdown, I purchased and fitted a new hot water tank and paid a sparky to wire it up so they had hot water at the taps even though they had an electric shower and gas cooker.
    The lovely grateful tenants then complained to the council about a two week wait for the new boiler and the council rang me to tell me off lol!
    I said give me the number of someone who can do it quicker and they said they can only send someone to repair not replace.
    So…I rang the company who they use and they said it’s more knackered than the original guy said and “it’s an 8 week wait mate”
    Social landlords practically NEVER evict anti social tenants either forcing decent people to put up with it for years.
    I evict at the earliest sign of it, social landlords let it drag on.
    Bit of a rant lol.

  3. How can a local authority be a “private landlord”?
    That sounds like a contradiction in terms to me.
    Do they mean the council will be letting out properties on ASTs, rather than assured (social) tenancies?
    So is the council a RSL in this situation?

    Would be interesting to see what would happen in a few years, should these tenants take legal action to try and gain full council tenants rights.

    Also, why does the council need to build houses itself to sell for a profit?
    If the council wishes to make money from house building, surely it can just increase its charges for planning permission? Why bother to do the work yourself, when you have the rights to tax the work of others?

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