An innovative new website which aims to improve the standard of privately rented properties in Leicestershire has been launched.
The Homefinder scheme – www.homefinder.uk.com – has been set up for landlords and letting agents in the county, offering support and advice and providing a range of services all under one roof.
Landlords and letting agents can advertise their properties for free, and at the same time keep up-to-date with current legislation, have access to documents, videos and toolkits to help manage properties, information on available grants and loans, and free training opportunities.
There are already over 70 letting agents signed up and 500 properties on the website, from shared houses to executive homes. It can be viewed in multiple languages, and features include a housing benefit calculator and an online referral form for customers seeking support to remain in their current home or move to an alternative one.
Blaby District Council has led on the development of the scheme, which had the original aim of increasing access to privately rented properties across Leicester and Leicestershire.
Councillor Maggie Wright, portfolio holder for Community Services, said:
“The launch of Homefinder is going to benefit both tenants and landlords, ensuring there is quality housing available in the district. It is extremely promising to see the amount of landlords and letting agents already on board and I hope to see this fantastic scheme roll out further across the county and beyond.”
National Landlords Association (NLA), Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Decent and Safe Homes (DASH), Leicester Landlords Association (LLA), Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) are all supporting the Homefinder scheme.
Linda Selvey, Landlord Accreditation Manager at DASH, said:
“We are really pleased that there will be a place where tenants can go to look for properties belonging specifically to accredited landlords”.
“This website will help tenants have confidence that the property they rent is of a good standard, is being responsibly managed and more importantly that the landlord belongs to a recognised scheme like DASH landlord Accreditation. We hope to work in partnership with Blaby District Council to develop the website across the East Midlands giving more landlords and tenants this excellent opportunity.”
Alongside the launch of the Homefinder website, a Landlord Local Authority Working Group has been set up.
Zahir Mamujee from MCL Property, and one of the working group members, said:
“We are very excited at the launch of this site. Not only is it a great portal to advertise properties throughout Leicester and Leicestershire, but a great example of how the private rented sector and local authorities throughout the shire are working together to reduce the stigma associated with Housing Benefit tenants and provide good quality accommodation.”
Landlords or letting agents looking to advertise their properties on the website can register atwww.homefinder.uk.com/accommodation or for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 272 7770.