Council may offer certain, 'good' landlords property improvement loans

Author: Rent Guarantor

25/03/2020

Portsmouth City Council is considering offering property improvement loans to landlords who behave fairly and opt into a licensing scheme. The council is considering a five-year plan where, if certain conditions for landlords are met, then improvement loans could be approved to those landlords to help modernise and upgrade rental stock across the city.

This recognition and possible additional support for the Private Rental Sector, (PRS) which the council says plays a big part in providing homes across the city, would also help tenants. One possible option could be to support ‘good tenants’ with their deposit payments.

How landlords and tenants could benefit

In a post on its website, Portsmouth City Council said it estimates there are some 30,000 PRS tenants across the city and it wants to do what it can to support the sector and encourage improvement.

To that end, it said where accredited landlords behave fairly and appropriately, the new five-year plan could include the capacity for the city council to offer loans for property improvement. This could improve existing PRS homes and also be used to develop a broader range of property types or certain facilities.

Meanwhile, as a way to reduce anti-social behaviour and encourage more responsible behaviour from tenants, the new plan could potentially include the incentive of support with deposits for ‘good’ behaviour from those who rent homes, too.

“Private rentals play a significant role in the city and we want to make sure the system works as well as it can for everyone involved,” said Portsmouth city council’s cabinet member for housing, councillor Darren Sanders.

“The research behind this strategy shows a big overlap in what renters and landlords want, with both keen to see secure tenants living in safe homes. The new strategy aims to support and protect both sides while also working to ensure tenants become part of the communities they live in and I hope my fellow cabinet members support the proposals,” Councillor Sander said.

Plans still under discussion

While these plans to support improvements for both sides of the PRS sector may sound appealing to many, they are currently only under discussion. However, following a recent meeting, the city council agreed that further consultation should be undertaken regarding the draft strategy.

Indeed, the plan appeared to be well supported with the cabinet in attendance approving the draft strategy and requesting the immediate implementation of actions relating to it that don’t require further permissions.

If the five-year rental strategy does go ahead, it could be something that other councils might take interest in. Afterall, if it proves successful and encourages fairer behaviour from tenants and landlords its something that could appeal across the country, particularly as the number of tenants in the UK continues to grow.