It has been a successful first year for Horsham District Council’s initiative to work with private landlords to house council tenants.
In the 2011 census results show the number of properties registered as being privately rented rose from 6.6 per cent in 2001 to 11 per cent.
There are also very few rooms available to rent across the district and therefore more people are turning to the council for help with finding a home.
Around 1,200 people are waiting on the HDC Housing Register and with 200 social rented homes owned by housing associations, many will never get housed through the council.
Tenants on benefits find private landlords often prefer not to let homes to them, however HDC has been successfully working with them to help change this.
Following the launch of the district council’s private sector rental scheme last year, the council set up a free landlords’ forum, which met for the first time in October.
It was an informal get together for landlords and prospective landlords to speak to others already working in the private rented sector. As a result, five properties now house council tenants.
Sue Rogers, cabinet member for a healthier and safer district, said: “We are trying to develop the private rental sector in various ways. The first landlords’ forum meeting was standing room only.
“It’s about building the relationships and the misconceptions of letting private rents to council tenants is starting to change.”
For more information about the landlords’ forum, please contact Nigel Powell, lettings officer on 01403 215225 or Rob Jarvis, senior housing options officer on 01403 215449.