Empty Homes Initiative
What We Do
Tenancy Services
There are many reasons why private landlords will not take social tenants. For example:
  • Local housing allowance (LHA) is paid directly to tenants, resulting in many tenants not passing the money on and therefore building up serious rent arrears.
  • 95% of Local Authorities wanting to get people housed do not provide references.
  • The level of LHA that tenants will receive (or indeed whether they will get any benefit at all) is unknown until after they have signed the tenancy.
  • Most councils take weeks to process applications, eight weeks being the norm (meaning that the tenant will be two months in arrears before any money comes in).
  • Rent is then paid in arrears rather than in advance.
Also, many landlords and agents believe that people on benefit are likely to be poor tenants, .This is an unfair preconception as most social tenants are responsible people looking for long term tenancies in properties they are willing to take pride in and look after well. LALS, is undeterred by such obstacles. In our view it is almosr criminal to have empty houses when there are so many social tenants in need of housing. LALS can provide a solution.

The solution is as follows:
  • LALS will be a comprehensive assessment of a tenant. A poor credit history can be discounted if there are genuine reasons for it, for example if the tenant has fallen on hard times, loss of job they may be accepted. However ‘won’t pay’ tenants applications are taken no further.
  • If the tenant is found to be acceptable, then LALS will do the sums, calculating the likely LHA and assessing the tenant’s ability to pay any rent top up.
  • The scheme then offers comprehensive insurance to landlords, guaranteeing them against non-payment of rent, including delays in the calculation of benefit. Also if LALS has miscalculated the LHA the insurance will make up the difference. The insurance will also cover any damage done by the tenant.
  • The only payment necessary by the tenant is an up-front one month’s deposit, which in many cases will be paid by the Local Authority.
  • Once tenants have been accepted, they will be referred to one of the landlords which will find the tenant the property.
The scheme has been supported by over 19 Local Authorities and has seen the benefit of using one social housing agent in finding suitable accommodation for their homeless families.

Furniture Package

A furniture package is available to rent through the Furnished Tenancy Service. Properties that are available with a furnished tenancy package will be advertised. All applicants that match the criteria will then be considered for a furniture package. Furnished tenancies are available in selected properties, houses and bungalows with a certain Landlords.

For information regarding packages and costs please contact LALS

The aim behind the service is to provide furnished homes for those who would not usually be able to afford the cost of furnishing for themselves. There is an additional cost for the furniture package on top of the property rent, however, if the customer is on benefits or a low income, assistance may be available from Housing Benefits

Your Tenancy Agreement

Your tenancy agreement is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) a legal contract between you and your Landlord and is designed to make sure that you are good tenants and take proper care of the homes you rent from your landlord.

It sets out some rules that you, and those who live in or visit your home, must keep to by law. The tenancy agreement gives you rights as well as responsibilities. It also lists the services you are entitled to in return for the rent you pay.

Tenants Handbook

Your Tenants Handbook is not a legal document. It is a document that contains useful information about the management and maintenance of your home and services provided by LALS can be found within.