The Highland Council is keen to increase the number of houses we have to let to people in housing need. One way we do this is by encouraging private landlords to lease their properties to the Highland Council, so that we can then sub-let the properties to applicants for housing. We are particularly keen to bring unused housing back into use, such as holiday homes or empty properties.
What is a Leasing Scheme?
- The Council pays rent to the owner 6 monthly in advance.
- The Council will issue a lease to the owner. (A copy of a draft lease is available). The lease will normally be for a period of between 3 years and 20 years.
- The Council then let the property and issue a tenancy to someone who is on our housing list.
- The Council accepts responsibility for all management and day to day maintenance of the property for the duration of the lease.
- The Council is responsible for any void periods. i.e. the owner will be paid even when the property is empty.
If you are a property owner please contact your nearest Area Housing and Property Office to discuss the opportunities leasing provides. Alternatively if you know someone who is a home owner and who might be interested in leasing to the Council, let them know about this scheme. You can get a leaflet with this information from the Council and information is included on the Council’s web site.
What are my responsibilities as an owner?
You will have some responsibilities. These will include;
- The Council will give you a copy of a draft lease. You should seek independent legal advice on this lease.
- If the property is mortgaged, you must check that there aren’t any conditions on the loan or mortgage that would prevent the property being sublet.
- You must also register with the Landlords Registration Scheme (see chapter 3). Landlords and their agents will have to register with the scheme if they own or let houses in the area. Below is a link to the Scottish Government’s website that will give you more information about this www.betterrentingscotland.com. You can register online.
- A current Energy Performance Certificate must be displayed in the property.
- The property must have current electrical and gas (if applicable) safety certificates.
The Council will discuss how much rent can be paid for the property taking account of the average rent costs for the area where the property is situated, as advised by the District Valuer.
The Council will arrange to inspect your property. We will only take on properties that meet set minimum standards (a copy of these are available on request). If there are any works necessary to bring the property up to that minimum standard the Council will give you a list of what these works are. You will be responsible for getting any works completed.
When the works have been completed a further inspection is undertaken and digital photographs taken as evidence of the condition of the property. A copy is given to you if requested.
When all of the above is completed a date of entry is then agreed and the lease is signed.
What are the benefits?
- You will have a guaranteed rental income – direct from the Council.
- The rent is paid 6 months in advance whether the property is occupied or not.
- This type of arrangement means you can continue to be paid rent but have no direct involvement in letting the property, and you will have no management responsibilities.
- The Council lets the property and is the landlord of the sub-tenant. We will deal with collecting rent etc. and we will meet the extra costs associated with letting a property.
- The Council guarantees to give the property back in the same condition as when it is first let, except for fair wear and tear, at no cost to you.
- The Council will insure the property – under the terms of your mortgage you may require additional insurance.
- The Council will obtain future electrical safety certificate.
- The Council will obtain future gas safety certificate if there is any gas in the property.
Where will I get more information?
Please phone your local Area Housing and Property Office. See below and Appendix A.
For properties in Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch, and Strathspey
Housing and Property Services, 21-23 Church Street, Inverness, (01463) 703959
Housing and Property Services, Court House, High Street, Nairn, (01667) 458510
Housing and Property Services, Ruthven Road, Kingussie, (01540) 664519
For properties in Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross
Housing and Property Services, Drummuie, Golspie, (01408) 635385
Housing and Property services, Market Square Wick, (01955) 607712
Housing and Property Services, Alness Service Point, 3/5 Obsdale Road, Alness, (01349) 886618
For properties in Mid and West Ross, Skye and Lochalsh and Lochaber
Housing and Property Services, Ross House, Dingwall, (01349) 868466
Housing and Property Services, Lochaber House, High Street, Fort William, (01397) 707218
Housing and Property Services, Tigh na Sgire, Park Lane, Portree, 01478) 613805
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