Launch of North and Islands Property Finder
Housing Policy Officer Gail Ward is pictured promoting the new site with Stephen Peasnall, Chair of the Scottish Association of Landlords and local landlord Mark Peasnall.
Highland Council and neighbouring Moray Council are to join forces to launch a new website to help local residents find suitable properties in the private rented sector.
In partnership with LocalPad and with funding from the Scottish Government, they have developed the North and Islands Property Finder website which has been created to provide a free advertising and information service for landlords.
The website - northandislandspropertyfinder - will go live on November 3 and it is hoped it will encourage more landlords to work with both Highland and Moray Councils and help to provide a supply of good quality accommodation whilst reducing their marketing costs.
Landlords will have full control of their adverts through an online account and will be able to manage essential documents such as gas and electric safety certificates using the online reminder tool. When advertising their properties, landlords will be able to include photographs and location maps to maximise their properties potential for let.
Potential tenants will be able to use the site to access available properties in one convenient place. They will be able to contact landlords directly by phone, email or through the site, which should help landlords to reduce the amount of time that properties stand empty.
Tenants will also be able to access advice and information on helping them to sustain their tenancy as well as money and debt advice.
Feedback has already been positive from landlords who have seen the site.
Stephen Peasnall, Chair of the Scottish Association of Landlords welcomes this initiative by the housing department to work with the private sector in the provision of housing options for the many people seeking accommodation.
He said: “From a landlord's point of view, the opportunity to advertise vacant property, together with photographs, free of charge, represents a strong marketing advantage, as does the knowledge that vulnerable tenants will be offered advice and practical help to ensure they sustain their tenancies in a satisfactory manner. I know this scheme has been very effective in other parts of the UK and look forward to a positive reaction in the Highlands."
Chair of The Highland Council’s Community Services Committee, Councillor Graham MacKenzie said: “I’ve seen for myself how this new site works and I feel it can bring real benefits to the whole tenant/landlord relationship and experience people have. As well as providing a quick and effective way for people to find out about the availability of properties in their area, I’m particularly pleased to see the site will also provide a wealth of relevant information, advice and tips for both tenants and landlords. I am sure it will prove to be popular way of bringing potential tenants and owners of property together and I look forward to hearing how people get on with it.”
Localpad Originally founded in 1999, are the market leader in the provision of accommodation management systems in the public sector. Their aim is to facilitate communication between councils, landlords and tenants to improve and simplify the letting process.
Lloyd Cowburn, managing director of LocalPad, said: “We are delighted to be working with Moray and Highland on their LocalPad site. We are confident that the online property finder will help increase landlord engagement with everyone associated with Highland and Moray councils and offer landlords a free service to advertise their properties.”