The Chair referred to the housing crisis at
both national and local levels and the duty of the Council to
tackle homelessness under the Homelessness Reduction Act
2017. He referred to the importance of
working in partnership and to the witnesses who had been invited to
attend the meeting in four sessions.
Estate Agents, Richard Hall (L & A
Lettings) and Courtney Downing (Proactive Property)
Richard Hall had an established business, set
up over nine years ago, with over 300 properties in Wolverhampton,
Walsall and surrounding areas.
Courtney Downing had recently set up his
business and had five properties.
The witnesses were asked what did a good
vetting scheme for both tenants and landlords include?
Richard Hall stated that word of mouth and
personal contact was key, prospective tenants should be visited in
current properties. Local authorities were also providing support;
however, that varied depending on the authority.
Courtney Downing agreed that personal contact
was vital and he actively encouraged communication with all his
tenants and would continue to do so.
The witnesses were asked what incentives
should there be in the Rent with Confidence scheme that would
attract more estate agents to use it?
Richard Hall considered that the Rent with
Confidence scheme would slowly identify the better landlords and
drive up standards. The regeneration in the city centre would also
encourage good landlords to the area. He stated that it was easy to
identify poor landlords and in terms of references, no one came
with a bad reference so personal judgements had to be
made. He stated that it would be
helpful to have more than one month’s rent deposit and it
would be helpful if the Council could facilitate such a scheme.
Courtney Downing suggested that additional
information about the scheme and how everyone could help each other
would be helpful. He stated that he had
previously been unaware of what the Council was doing. He confirmed that accreditation and ratings were
very important and it would be helpful to have support to find
landlords with good properties.
The witnesses were asked if other local
authorities that they dealt with had a better communication process
with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on Universal Credit
and Direct Payment?
Richard Hall referred to the Walsall Steering
Group which had a representative from the DWP and the National
Landlords Association (NLA). He stated
that it would be helpful to have a Steering Group at Wolverhampton
again to build relationships.
Officers confirmed that there had previously
been a Private Sector Forum and Steering Group; however, due to
issues in respect of the direction of the Group it had been
The witnesses were thanked for attending the
meeting and participating in the session.
Landlords, Richard Hall (L & A Lettings)
and Ranjit Uppal (UAS Properties)
Ranjit Singh stated that he had set up his
property business in 1993 with over 100 apartments across the city
centre with over 280 tenants.
The witnesses were ...
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