Private rented scheme

Landlords can rent their properties through our private rented scheme. The scheme introduces individuals and families in need of housing to local landlords.

We provide a comprehensive lettings service including:

  • A free tenant finder service - no commission to pay
  • Free advice with tenancy management issues
  • A personalised service to you which includes regular visits to your property

Property requirements

As a minimum standard the property should have:

  • Gas Safe safety certificate
  • Valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • Smoke alarm (10 year lithium battery or hard wired), one per storey
  • From October 2015 - carbon monoxide detector (10 year lithium battery or hard wired) by kitchen, boiler and other gas appliances (where separate)
  • Floor covering. For example carpets, laminate or vinyl flooring
  • Adequate ventilation, heating and lighting throughout property
  • Exterior of property to be secure and well maintained
  • Fridge/freezer, cooker and ideally a washing machine

The landlord must supply a tenancy agreement (contract) for the tenancy.

We will only consider a property with an overseas landlord if suitable management arrangements have been made and written confirmation of authority to act on behalf of the landlord is provided.

Deposits

We will pay a deposit which is normally equivalent to six weeks rent. The deposit has to be protected under an approved deposit protection scheme and the Council's interest will need to be listed on the deposit certificate when it is registered in the scheme.

Rent payments

Under the direct payment scheme, housing benefit payments are set up to be paid four weekly in arrears and these payments will go direct to the owner of the property or the managing agent. Although this gives landlords security and peace of mind, if there is any rental shortfall it will remain the tenant's responsibility to ensure the landlord receives the full contractual monthly rent.

Letting timescales

The private lettings market is fast moving and our scheme aims to reflect this. We have available tenants so are usually able to complete a tenancy within a short timescale. To avoid delays please ensure that the property is clean, safe and ready to let, with all documents in place (eg gas safety certificate).

Types of property required

We mainly need self-contained accommodation from studios up to four bedrooms.

Tenant screening

Where possible we will conduct assisted viewings. For added peace of mind tenants referred to the scheme must not have a history of intentional rent arrears or anti-social behaviour within rented accommodation.

Rent arrears

The scheme has a number of safeguards to help minimise rent arrears providing we are informed as soon as possible. We complete initial screening checks and refuse further help to those who have a history of rent arrears due to deliberate non-payment. We also do affordability checks.

Universal Credit: top tips for landlords

  • Ensure your tenants know how much their rent is.

Speak to them early on and make sure they are ready to pay their rent to you directly.

  • Apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement.

If you have tenants who may struggle to pay their rent or are in rent arrears, you can apply for their housing costs to be paid to you directly from the start of their claim.

  • Claimants can apply for an advance.

Are you aware new Universal Credit claimants can apply for an advance from the start of their claim that can be used to help pay rent and bills?

  • Additional support for Housing Benefit claimants.

Remind tenants moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit that they will automatically receive an extra two weeks' Housing Benefit support which they don't need to pay back.

  • Understand the options.

In Scotland, tenants can choose to have theur housing costs paid direct to their landlord or themselves. Make sure you understand all the options so that you can give the best advice possible.

  • Encourage tenants to set up their direct debits.

They will need a bank account for their Universal Credit payments, and having a direct debit or standing order set up may help them make sure their rent payments are made on time.

  • Encourage tenants to claim straight away.

Encourage tenants who have a change of circumstances, such as losing their job, to make a claim for Universal Credit straight away so they can continue to pay their rent.

  • Get to know your Partnership Manager.

Build strong links with your Partnership Manager - they can share contacts to help you resolve complex matters.

  • Make sure your tenant has to right paperwork.

If you are a private landlord, you will need to provide your tenants with suitable signed paperwork that confirms how much their rent liability is, as this is required for the verification process.

Read more useful information on Universal Credit for landlords and find out how to contact the DWP partnership teams via the Government's Universal Credit website (external link).

Contact information

Email: landlords@wycombe.gov.uk
  • 01494 421603 or 01494 421606