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Desperate plea for private landlords to help social housing shortfall

Help2Rent, a social housing platform that matches housing list tenants with available homes, has made a desperate plea to private landlords.

An email sent to private landlords says: “At Help2Rent we work with 140+ councils across the country, including Birmingham, London, Manchester and surrounding, who are in desperate need of properties.

“Currently there are around 18,000 tenants on our system so finding a tenant for any property, regardless of its location will not be a problem.


“As long as the property is in reasonable condition and compliant with letting laws (gas, electric EPC, licensing certificates etc) we will be able to match multiple tenants for each property.

And it says that it has a unique rent guarantee insurance scheme which covers up to £2500 monthly rental cover, legal protection up to £25,000 and mediation cover up to £330. 

Each tenant is assessed for affordability and suitability before they are nominated, direct monthly rental payments are set up to the agent/landlord and not the tenant, and tenants come pre-approved.

The email concludes: “We can usually have the tenant ready to occupy the property within five to seven days.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Would anyone really need their help in letting a home?

    We let through an agent and they are always gone on the first day of viewings,
    So many applicants, so few houses.

    This government has destroyed the PRS, Labor will totally finish it off.

    I've no idea where they think these people will live.

    Basically anyone on HB will be looking for a council house that does not exist.

    They will reap what they sow. Shelter and Polly will try to say that they didn't create this environment as they dont offer any houses.

    She should really wake up and see the mess that she is creating.

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    As long as the landlord can interview and assess the suitability of the prospective tenant it can work well.
    I've had 3 tenants via various Local Authority schemes and another 3 that have been found by me but have received support from the schemes. This has spanned a 12 year period and so far my experience has been generally positive.
    Part of it will be down to how much ongoing support is offered. That can be as simple as a the ability to phone someone and say support or guidance of some description is required. The woman I deal with at the Council is fantastic. She can usually point me in the right direction, tell me about extra funding tenants can access, arrange budgeting sessions for tenants if I have concerns, remind them about the need to heat the property sufficiently to prevent mould, etc. Most of mine were fairly new to the world of homelessness and benefits.
    Some were recently divorced, some evicted so the landlord could sell, some had financial issues (a couple of CCJs), etc. All of mine pay the rent themselves so I sometimes get caught up in UC glitches. That's my choice and mainly because I tried direct payments once with a different tenant and found it incredibly frustrating dealing with UC. Payments may not always be on time but so far they have always arrived at some point within a reasonable timeframe. Bearing in mind the chaotic income pattern some of mine have it's pretty impressive.

    It's a different style of letting and wouldn't suit every landlord but when it works it can be very stable and satisfying.

    Having read D Ducks comment I will add that I agree with them and I do what I do because of where I came from. I grew up in the poverty trap and when my first marriage broke up was virtually penniless for 3 months. (A giro for 33p a week to be precise). A group of winos and dropouts literally kept me alive for that 3 months by allowing me to share their food. I'm not a fan of organised charity (too many high salaries) but providing long-term stable housing to people who have difficulties obtaining housing feels like a good thing to do.


    Hi Jo, I have spent twenty five years letting houses in Nottingham to "non ideal" tenants who are often in dire need of accommodation. I have had a generally good experience, but when I've had problems with tenants such as large arrears, anti-social behaviour and outright fraud and dishonesty, my local authority Nottingham City, have always sided with the tenant. They have colluded with tenants to defraud the benefits agencies, rather than work with a landlord. This from a public body supposedly working for the whole community. Advice from the NRLA regarding the very high burden of proof needed to evict using a section 8 has always led us to use section 21 on the few occasions we have had to evict in adversity ( most of our section 21's have been requested by tenants to get social housing ).
    With the proposed removal of section 21, I will no longer feel able to take the risk in housing these vulnerable families. I have already started to issue section 21's to my most troublesome tenants.
    This is a mess, which is not of our making, but good landlord or bad, we are getting the blame. I fear the PRS has changed permanently to the detriment of landlords and vulnerable tenants.


    Really good of you Jo to do all that.
    I wouldn't, though have helped tenants with various things, including bureaucracy, over the years. Sometimes nothing to do with they being tenants.
    The assault on LLDs, by supposed tenant helping charities, and now Government won't encourage me.

    And HMRC's attitude to actual work I do, compared with workmen/women... As you know, their time/wages can be offset against income before tax. My work is unpaid as considered a hobby/pass-time. Unclogging sewers/drains and removing dog-ur1ne soaked carpets at the end of a tenancy for example is NOT a pass-time. Would love more time for my real hobbies/interests, but I have the LLD paperwork and organising repair/maintenance work; just like others reading this. If we were in the social housing sector, we'd be paid for that, out of peoples' taxes.



    On the properties jointly owned by my wife and me, I charge my wife for 50% of time I spend on maintenance and she charges me 50% of time spent by her. We both put this in the notes on our tax returns and it's never been challenged.

    For properties owned by my grown up kids, I charge them in full and put the cash in my grandkids' bank accounts.

    Although we all pay tax , the 45p per mile charged is tax free whilst being tax deductible, along with reasonable expenses for meals etc

    Every little helps!


    Thank you for the tips. (Sorry for not coming back to you sooner.)
    Unfortunately, perhaps fortunately, I don't have offspring. My girlfriend is too sensible to marry me and the properties are all solely my own.

    She said some time ago I should sell the lot and enjoy my retirement. Now I've seen Angela Rayner's Labour approach, I'm rather wishing I had done that.

    Am starting to record to claim essential mileage.

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    Jo, I have to agree fully with you this time if I didn’t I would say so too.
    Removal of Section 21 certainly having an adverse affect on Tenants it removes the Council’s responsibility to re house them, the real reason for getting rid of it, could have removed that right without RRB just by a simple amendment to existing but too cowardly to do that they’d have to admit what they were up to. So they try to blame the landlords to cover their tracks with fake news.
    The Renter’s Reform Bill ditto supposed to be helping Renter’s it has driven out landlords driven up their rents 30% and that’s if they can find anywhere to rent. I am sure they must be chuffed then if Tenants complains about a landlord Council give LLD big fine to prove to them that they are looking after Tenants, so much hypocrisy and deception.
    THE RENTERS REFORM BILL has been a disaster no good for Tenants or Landlords scrap it now, no need to comment on all the other sneaky things that will be hidden in the Bill.

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    Would i have anything to do with a local council letting scheme? NOT A CHANCE!!!! They have been complicit in attacking private landlords whenever they can & share responsibility with the Government for creating this mess - they can start to sort it out by stopping the attacks on private landlords today!!!
    I feel very sorry for people who cannot find anywhere to live - the shortage of rentals property & high rents are a result of Government & local councils policies - this needs to be shouted from the rooftops.
    Gove is a blinkered idiot who will not listen & blunders on causing mayhem everywhere.

    • A JR
    • 14 November 2023 07:55 AM

    Colin: great post. Local Authorities are almost invariably anti PRS and cannot be trusted. Period! I will have nothing to do with them.


    These organisation bite the hands that feed the market and now want our help..eh NO!

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Sorry not a chance. It's a shame that the incessant attacks on the PRS have lead to such a situation and impacted so many people.

  • Ian Deaugustine

    They are utterly wrong once again. They should campaign at the government level and ask them/force them to build affordable social housing.

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    • A G
    • 14 November 2023 06:51 AM

    When you consider how private landlords have been penalised for the audacity of trying to run buy-to-let properties, this is a bit cheeky. Underinvest in social housing, disadvantage and disincentive landlords financially, push onerous legislation on them and then ask for help. I would say that the extra stamp duty should be waived, grants for epc improvements made available and then we can talk again.


    And reinstate section 24?


    @John - I'd rather they removed S24. However I suspect this is what you were implying.

  • Peter Lewis

    B off.

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    I certainly won't be trying this Help2Rent scheme based upon previous experiences with so-called supported tenancies for benefit claimants. On my very last experience - which ended some eighteen months ago - the repair costs arising totalled some £12,000. This is rather higher than the five weeks rental deposit that we are nowadays obliged to accept. I also lost valuable working time (probably two months worth) and leisure time. I'm a landlord struggling to provide for my family, I am not a social worker, though I admire Jo Westlake's approach described above.

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    Moving houses from one sector to another just means different people can't access housing! We need more availability, not shuffling the deck chairs on the deck!


    Absolutely. Just move the problem to another area. Thats what we're dealing with here. They just wont recognise and accept the problem lies with the Governments and landlord bashing charities. You were warned this was coming!

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    It’s not the tenants that concern me, providing we can interview them for suitability, it’s the complete lack of support we would get from our council should this go awry. I’m sure we would ultimately have similar issues to Matthew Jude, sorry but on that basis it wouldn’t be for us.

  • Franklin I

    I would like to address the above article discussing Help2Rent's plea for private landlords to offer properties for their tenants. However, I must express my deep frustration regarding the challenges faced by private landlords. Here are some key points:

    1. Financial Burdens: Private landlords are facing a crisis with high interest rates up to 10%, new regulations, and legislations that suffocate the PRS.

    2. Delays in Possession Orders: Landlords experience prolonged delays of 6 to 12 months in obtaining possession orders through the courts, hindering their ability to regain control of their properties.

    3. Inadequate Renter's Reforms Bill: Proposed reforms fail to acknowledge the dire situation faced by landlords, lacking measures that genuinely benefit the private rental sector (PRS).

    4. Controversial EPC Rating Proposal: The proposal to enforce an EPC rating of "C" by 2025, with hefty fines for non-compliance, adds to the burden on landlords without providing adequate support or resources.

    5. Issues with Universal Credit (UC): The UC system lacks effectiveness and fails to address the concerns of landlords, leaving them in a precarious position. UC is discriminatory to LL's.

    The plight of private landlords in the housing crisis demands immediate attention, we're the ones who need more help than anyone!

    I find this article to be insensitive and offensive to all LL's.


    Agree - but EPC requirements have now been scrapped (until a Labour Govt brings it back) so at least that's one word less.

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    Erm one word- NO.

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    If any landlord is seriously considering their offer I would suggest they research!

    Numerous reports on social media where they house drug addicts, criminals, etc. and leave the problem for the landlord and community!

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    That's a BIG FAT NO from me getting into bed with woke councils who openly hate us and will stick the knife in at any chance they get, housing the dregs of society no no no

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    I had request from the council to house people and wanted to pay near double the current rent. I made clear I did not want halfway house, refugees, etc. No no they said, normal working people who are just short of rent but we will make it up.

    They wanted it for five years, all going well until they dropped the contract and it said possibly refugees or immigrants... Alarm bells..!

    Then the rent dropped to market rates. Needless to say .... On yer bike!

  • icon

    Unfortunately I won't be in a position to help anymore. I have a vacant property but I've decided to sell it. Too much meddling by the government, Shelter, etc. and all the never ending changes have made me totally fed up of doing this job. (Yes, being a self managing landlord is a job, not money for nothing). As with any job you don't enjoy anymore, you tend to look around for other opportunities then quit!

  • icon

    They have been attacking us for years now asking for our help, them two don’t go together and you had your answer above. So attacking us has contributed to you having 18’000 Tenants waiting on your system congratulations.
    With all the supposedly fantastic incentives you are offering landlords still won’t take the bait. So no problem finding us a Tenant for any property but a big problem finding a property for any Tenant.


    Maybe rogue landlords would be interested?

  • icon

    😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂... What a bleedin' cheek!

  • Christopher Mills

    We all have good tenants and bad tenants. All this reform bill stuff is doing is showing us that we need to lessen our stock of properties, and inevitably this means what we consider the properties that tend to attract the worst examples of tenants, I.e. the cheaper ones. There are plenty of buyers out there, increasing year on year (500,000 net immigration in the last reported year). Consequently if the rental stock decreases by even 10% then where will those people go? Big problem affecting, after a landlord shakedown, the lower echelons of renters. It's happening now. I would never have previously put a property up for sale but am now. I'm likely to use the money to buy something to improve and sell, but not rental, not now.

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    Councils have consistently removed the consequences of poor behaviour from tenants and in doing so have encouraged bad tenants to carry doing what they do because they know they will be protected.

    Meanwhile good HB tenants now find themselves struggling to find properties because landlords won’t take the risk of housing them because they know if they choose the wrong tenant the cost to them is 6-12 months of stress, abuse and losses easily going into 5 figures.

    Councils are the problem here for landlords and tenants - and as always seem to consistently wriggle out of taking any responsibility for the situation they have brought about.

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    Help local government after the actions of central government against the sector since 2016 with the final renters reform bill nail in the coffin looming heavy.

    I think I will boycott that idea thank you.

  • Nic  Kaz

    High risk, low return. It’s not a combination which works for any business.

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    I can hear the chorus of ironic laughter from us all!!

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    Never again with Greenwich council.

    Absolutely rubbish Greenwich Housing department. Tenant caused so much damage to the property and the inventory clerk was suprpised. But the Housing Manager was admant that this was normal wear and tear.

    Beware during tenancy they will make you do the repairs immediately (even the damage caused by tenant) or stop the rent.

    It was a nightmare dealing with them as the Housing Manager thought he was GOD and can do anything he wanted.

    All the promises made by their procurement Department were never filled. when we asked them to help, they refused and said they can not help as it decision of Housing manager in charge of the hand back .

    Don't Fall for the Guranteed rent promise. You can get Rent Gurantee Insurance for about £250 for your peace of mind.

    PS the funny part is Procurement Department is chasing us again to let the property to them.

  • icon

    Front page of Mirror today, Cameron in, we are gone back
    13 years it says, wouldn’t it be great if we were.
    Floods and ponding in London to day no drains working all road gulley’s blocked. Pedestrians splashed & saturated on the pavement even at official crossing points or standing at the Bus Stop. Council’s not doing their duty but fine us for lack of maintenance, while they have the lorry gulley suckers sitting idle in their yards. Damage to Road Surface and sub base costing hundreds of millions totally irresponsible.

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    Definitely don't trust the council's. One of my first properties (long since sold) was rented to a tenant and common in law wife who stopped paying the rent for a deliberate constructive eviction. They wanted council housing in the area and were playing the system. The typical, council leftie, useful idiot, refused to take my word and housed this person on eviction.

    On deploying money on house sales. Why not convert the cash into gold. Gold is real money ( not printed confetti pounds) and has increased in purchasing power by an average of 10% since the year 2000 with zero risk. Source. A free downloadable pdf "In Gold we Trust".

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    Too late.

    I sold up and quit.
    Thank Gove & Shelter

  • icon

    Maybe if the government started treating the banks as bad as they treat landlords, everybody could afford a homem
    Mortgages would be free.
    Bank's profits and bonuses would be banned.
    Instead, taxpayers are forces to bail out banks with billions and the directors then take massive bonuses from the bailout.

    The government, Shelter, Gen Rent, Labour and the grossly misinformed general public are inconsistent how they treat big corporates v. Small private businesses or elderly trying to top up their meagre pensions.


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