Rent it Right - Landlord Incentive Schemes

Rent it Right logo

Rent it Right is the London Borough of Bexley working in partnership with local landlords and agents to collectively meet Bexley’s growing housing needs in a sustainable and collaborative way. 

There are three Rent it Right schemes:

  1. Private Rented licensing scheme
  2. Private sector leasing scheme
  3. Cash incentive scheme

Standards and conditions for private sector leasing and cash incentive schemes

The standards (PDF, 121KB) and conditions (PDF, 102KB) must be met before properties can be considered for the Council’s leasing and incentive schemes.

All Properties must comply with the rent it right standards and conditions. 

Landlords who wish to join the cash incentive scheme will also need to demonstrate they are:

Landlords can become accredited with one of the following organisations:

  • London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) 
  • Accreditation and Training for Landlord and Agents Service (ATLAS) 
  • National Landlords Association (NLA)
  • Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
  • Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
  • National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS)
  • UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA)

Accreditation is different to just being a member of these organisations and involves demonstrating a level of competence; it usually means you need to successfully complete an accreditation training course prior to becoming accredited. Landlords should check their membership status with the organisation if they are unsure. 

To maintain accreditation, landlords must complete Continuing Professional Development. This usually means at least 10 hours of training a year.

If you have any further questions or queries about the schemes please either complete a form and a member of our property licensing team will respond directly to you or call the team direct on 020 3045 3456:

 

Rent it Right enquiries

 

What is the Private Sector Leasing Scheme (PSL)? 

  • the London Borough of Bexley requires good quality properties to lease for three to five years, to use as long-term accommodation within the Bexley borough and surrounding areas
  • we offer an interest-free loan of between £1,000 to £20,000, to cover the cost of works required to ensure the property meets the Rent it Right standards and conditions
  • you may also qualify for a £5,000 grant if the property has been empty for six months or longer
  • you will receive a guaranteed monthly rent, even if the property is empty

There are two options to choose from:

PSL Option A PSL Option B
Guaranteed income Guaranteed income
Payments via automated BACS system direct to your bank account Payments via automated BACS system direct to your bank account
No commission or set up cost No commission or set up cost
Flexible lease term three to five years £2,000 cash upfront payment
No furniture or white goods required Three-year lease term
Named officer dealing with your property No furniture or white goods required
Free gas, electric and energy performance certificates provided Named officer dealing with your property
Annual £5,000 reparation fund Free gas, electric and energy performance certificates provided
Property returned at the end of the lease in a good condition except for fair wear and tear £1,000 paid at the end of the lease if no claims against the £3,000 reparation fund
Six-monthly inspections £3,000 reparation fund
Rent it Right direct helpline for support and advice Property returned at the end of the lease in a good condition except wear and tear
  Six-monthly inspections
  Rent it Right direct helpline for support and advice

Being a Rent it Right individual partner means you can access our cash incentive scheme. The London Borough of Bexley offers upfront cash payments to encourage long-term private rented accommodation for residents in Bexley.

What is the cash incentives scheme?

  • we offer up-front cash payments over one year for any property (excluding one-beds), in return for a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy (AST) at the local housing allowance (LHA) rates and a nomination to the property
  • further cash payments will be granted if the landlord maintains the tenancy for a further 12 months at local housing allowance
  • an insurance policy is provided which can be claimed against for rent arrears, damages to the property and legal expenses

What are the responsibilities of the landlord and their property?

  • accept a nomination to the property from the local authority
  • a minimum of 12-month AST at LHA rates
  • formal accreditation
  • have a carbon monoxide detector
  • have hard-wired smoke alarms and heat detector
  • have a gas safety certificate
  • have an energy performance certificate
  • have a satisfactory electrical installation condition report
  • have permission to let their property
  • have building insurance 
  • sign a fit and proper declaration

For further information please contact the Housing Resettlement Team on housingresettlementteam@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 8303 7777 and ask for the Housing Resettlement Team.

We support Bexley landlords in a variety of ways through our Housing Support service and providing the information landlords need to know.

Support for landlords

Housing Support is a service from the London Borough of Bexley to help anyone who is currently experiencing housing problems, including Bexley landlords.

Landlords and letting agents can use our dedicated contact form to let the Council know of any concerns about their tenants. We will work with you and your tenants to help resolve problems early on before they reach crisis point.

If we cannot resolve the issue directly, we can signpost to other services that may be able to help.

This is useful to landlords and letting agents who are concerned that their tenant:

  • has rent arrears or other debts
  • is finding it hard to manage their money
  • is struggling with the changes to their benefits
  • is in need of support with finding and moving into other accommodation

If you have any concerns about your tenant and think that they require further support from us, complete our support form.

Further information about the service is available in the following document, Housing support (PDF, 1MB).

Housing benefit information

The name of the housing benefit for tenants in the private rented sector is Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

If you are a private landlord who lets their property to tenants who claim a benefit to help pay their rent, they will receive LHA. It is administered by our Benefits office.

LHA is usually paid directly to the tenant rather than to the landlord. It is calculated by the tenants':

  • income and savings
  • if they have any dependents or other adults living with them
  • and the size of the property they are entitled to under the LHA rate

Please note the final figure is calculated on the above criteria and your tenant may not necessarily receive the maximum LHA rate.

Changes to benefits

If your tenant claims housing benefit, they may be affected by the welfare reforms. Universal Credit (UC) is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It replaced six of the main working age benefits, including housing benefit, into one monthly payment, paid in arrears and directly to the claimant.

Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis for the housing element of UC to be paid directly to the landlord, such as recipients who are considered financially vulnerable.

Landlord responsibilities

Property management can be complex as well as rewarding.

Private landlords should be familiar with their responsibilities and liabilities when renting a property out. As a minimum, landlords should:

  • ensure their property is free from health and safety hazards. This includes providing up to date gas safety certificates, ensuring all appliances and electrical fittings are free from faults and following fire safety regulations
  • carry out repairs and maintenance in a reasonable time period. For urgent or emergency repairs, this should be no longer than a few days
  • let the tenant live in the property in privacy. If you (or a workman or contractor) need to access the property to carry out non-emergency repairs, you should visit at a time that is convenient for the tenant
  • provide a tenancy or licence agreement for the tenants which includes the terms, who pays what and when, who is responsible for maintenance and your contact details

If you would like to rent out your property for the long term but are unable to take on the day to day management, contact our Private Sector Leasing team, landlords@bexley.gov.uk, who can tell you about the private renting options available to you.

If you have concerns about your tenant, and the tenancy may be at risk as a result, contact the Housing support service where Housing Support officers can offer advice and help to negotiate and resolve your concerns.
 

The RLA publishes landlord help guides, including help with tenancy management and understanding your responsibilities and liabilities.

The Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) has created a guide for potential landlords (PDF, 296KB), which is also useful for new landlords.

HMRC have designed an online course for landlords which covers all the aspects you need to know about property income, different types of tax and record keeping.