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        Landlord FAQ’s

        General guidance and advice for landlords

        Yes we can. We have a dedicated team of landlord liaison officers who are always actively working with households that are looking for a new home. These households vary from working to non working and no one person’s circumstances are the same. To speak to a landlord liaison officer please call 577377.

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        Private sector housing offer a tenant referencing scheme which checks things such as;

        • Anti Social Behaviour
        • Criminal activity
        • Rent arrears
        • Tenancy breaches
        • Housing Benefit overpayments

        The results are colour coded like traffic light system and put onto a small card, the same size as a driving licence with a photo of the customer so you can clearly see what sort of tenant they may make.  Whilst it does not check their credit history it does provide information not normally available and can add as a bolt on to a credit check.

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        Yes, normally at least once. Since the introduction of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, we now have a duty to carry out a personal housing plan (PHP) with people and this normally involves at least one face to face appointment. At the PHP we sit down with households and discuss their situation in detail. The appointments cover everything from support needs to budgeting

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        Yes. We do an income and expenditure form with households and are open and honest if we feel there is unnecessary spending and will signpost to Citizens Advice Thanet (CAT), Christians Against Poverty (CAP) and a host of other organisations if we feel that households need further help and support with budgeting or could maximize their income.

        We would never want to set households up to fail so it is crucial that from the start we work out their affordability so that it is realistic to their individual circumstances.

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        The households that we work with quite often are on lower incomes, although depending on individual circumstances this can vary quite a lot so we would suggest that rents are set as near to rates as possible. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for Thanet from 1st April 2019 until 31st March 2020 is:

        • Shared room rate – £65.17 per week/£282.40 per month
        • 1 bed rate – £85.64 per week/£371.11 per month
        • 2 bed rate – £123.62 per week/£535.69 per month
        • 3 bed rate – £144.36 per week/£625.56 per month
        • 4 bed rate – £183.11 per week/£793.48 per month
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        We are currently not in a position to be able to offer leasing, however the landlord liaison service will be able to discuss the best way forward with any potential property. We do offer a free tenant finding service so that we can match tenants to properties and offer support.

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        Yes, we are happy to show prospective tenants round properties. We also advise that landlords meet the households so that they can decide who they feel would make the best tenants.

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        Yes, we are always here to offer support and guidance should there be any issues with the tenants once the tenancy has started

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        If landlords are having any problems at all with tenants whether that be with benefit payments, Anti Social Behaviour or rent arrears then we are happy to work with both the tenants and the landlord to resolve the situation. We link in with a wide wide variety of agencies such as:

        • Multi Agency Task Force (MTF),
        • Social Services
        • Early Help
        • Citizens Advice Thanet
        • Christians Against Poverty,
        • Schools,
        • Trading Standards
        • Housing Benefit
        • Council Tax
        • DWP
        • Kent Fire and Rescue
        • Mental Health
        • Oasis Domestic Abuse
        • Police
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        We appreciate that sometimes circumstances change and landlords may need to regain their properties back for a variety of reasons. We will offer you advice as to the best and legal way to serve a notice. We will work with households to try and find them alternative accommodation so that landlords don’t have to go down the route of possession orders and bailiff warrants. This isn’t always possible as it depends on whether the household will engage with us. We will always be honest with landlords if households aren’t engaging so that they can go through the process of eviction as smoothly as possible.

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        No never. We make it very clear that tenants have to pay rent up until the point that they leave a property, we never advocate withholding rent.

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        This is a myth. We have a duty to advise tenants of their legal rights and the legal process that a landlord has to go through in order to obtain the property back, as a lot of people are not aware. We will contact landlords in the first instance to see why notice has been served and whether we can resolve the situation. If it is clear that we are unable to do that then we will support households with looking for alternative accommodation, although like landlords we can’t force people to move and sometimes landlords might have to go through the whole process to obtain their property back.

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        Yes absolutely. This is the most common reason that households are referred to the landlord liaison service. Call us for advice on  01843 577377 or email llo@thanet.gov.uk, you will need to provide us with the names and address of your tenants and a copy of the rent statement so that we have a full picture of the arrears and how they have accrued.

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        In the first instance we will contact households by phone. If we don’t have success we will send an email or letter and if necessary will carry out a home visit to see what the situation is. If there is any housing benefit in payment we will ask housing benefit that payments are safeguarded to the landlord to protect the tenancy. If households receive the housing element of universal credit we will contact the DWP and ask that they make payments directly to the landlord. Whilst we cannot guarantee this, we do have a good working relationship with the DWP.

        We will ask the household to complete an income and expenditure form so that we can set up an affordable repayment plan. We will then monitor that repayment plan to ensure that arrears payments are made weekly/monthly with the hope of protecting the tenancy and resolving the issue.

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