Following the reports in the local press about the dramatic collapse of letting agents Yourpad, Liberal Democrat Housing spokesman on Luton Borough Council, Councillor Alan Skepelhorn, asked the Council what action had been taken to ensure all lettings agencies used by the Council were covered by a reliable guarantee scheme.
Having received a reply to his questions Councillor Skepelhorn now says the Council is showing no signs of concern at all. He says that if landlords lose confidence and refuse to let their properties to the Council, then the Council could end up having to find new homes for the 850 families it has placed in private rented houses and flats.
“They say it has never happened before and seem to think that means it will not happen again. They don’t say what they will do with 850 families they have in private rented homes if the landlords start evicting them. They acknowledge that landlords have lost out because the agent did not pass on the rent paid by the Council. But they say it’s not their problem. It certainly will be their problem if landlords start refusing to let to the Council’s tenants.” says Councillor Skepelhorn
“The Council contracts through letting agents to rent 850 houses and flats from private landlords and puts Council tenants in them. This surely gives the Council enough muscle to insist that all the agents they use are covered by a guarantee scheme backed by a bank, insurance company or reliable trade association.”
“This would protect the tenants and the landlords. It would give landlords the confidence to continue to allow their properties to be let to Council tenants.”