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.
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, email@example.com, 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.