The rules and processes around Local Housing Allowance are complicated, variable (depending on the local authority) and constantly changing. Here we look at exactly what LHA is, who is eligible for it, how it is changing and most importantly what it actually means for a landlord to have a tenant in receipt of it. [Read more…] about What is Local Housing Allowance (LHA)?
Social Property Investment With Amy Varle
Amy Varle is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, a social entrepreneur, and the founder of Social Property Investment; an affordable housing strategy with the aim of reducing homelessness in Britain.
For well over a decade Amy has worked in affordable housing and social housing with the public, private and third sectors.
Now, her role is primarily as a facilitator, helping landlords and property investors connect with local authorities, with charities, with not for profit organisations, housing associations, voluntary groups, street teams and food banks.
This is all with the aim of making it easier and more profitable for property investors to house vulnerable tenants such as those who are homeless, in hostels, sleeping on friends’ couches or living on the streets.
Ultimately, her experience illustrates that landlords and investors with a property portfolio shouldn't be nervous about extending an arm to tenants in difficulty.
Although the system is complex, there is a large support network for landlords who are inclined to lend their property to a social property project.
But it isn't all about charity, by any means. Amy's role is to guarantee, as best she can, that all risks, inherent in such projects, are mitigated by good planning and shared responsibility by all involved parties.
She not only plans to make sure that the tenant is fully supported with regard to their particular needs and the long-term success of their tenancy but also works to protect the landlord's assets and their income.
With the right planning and the involvement of the right people and organisations, a social property can be very profitable and pain-free.
We all know that there is a housing crisis, that homelessness is spiking; that there is a desperate need for new-build housing.
In response to these circumstances, local authorities, charities and housing associations are becoming a lot more flexible in their thinking and there are many new policies and initiatives (such as the Housing First strategy) which are coming into play.
Amy is trying to create an environment where the private sector, where private landlords, have a much greater role in solving the social and infrastructure problems that the UK is facing today.
Of course, she wants to make it easier for vulnerable tenants to find rented homes but not at the expense of the investor’s bottom line.
She recognises that in order for any project to work it must be beneficial for everyone and that means it must be lucrative for those that are putting their money into it.
Most property investors are acutely aware of the housing crisis which Britain facing and many, working in private property, are exploring new ways of providing accommodation for those who are most in need. Today, we look at what social value is and how it can be created within social and affordable property projects. [Read more…] about What Is Social Value and What Does It Mean For Property Investors?
The effects of the Homelessness Reduction Bill are going to hit in 2018, so property investors and professional landlords need to be ready if they want to take full advantage of the changes that are coming to the social property market and provide the housing stock that is going to be so desperately needed. [Read more…] about What Will The Homelessness Reduction Bill Mean For Landlords?
What exactly does Universal Credit mean for landlords with social tenants? On the one hand, Universal Credit encourages claimants to be more responsible with their money but, on the other, it offers them the opportunity to spend that money on things other than their bills. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to support your tenants in their tenancy and this means putting processes in place to ensure that rent is paid and that your tenant doesn’t fall into debt. [Read more…] about Universal Credit & What It Means For Landlords and Investors
If you are thinking of investing in a multi-let, social property then it’s of paramount importance to know how to go about selecting the right social tenant. With this tenant profile, the normal rules of credit checks and references might not apply and risk assessments are more important here than with a standard AST. [Read more…] about How To Find The Perfect Social Tenant For Your Multi-Let
The success of any property investment lies in the investor’s ability to determine the best place to invest. Social property is no different, although, given the desperate need for affordable housing in the UK, areas, where there is a demand for social property, are not hard to find. But, demand isn’t everything. What’s most important, is that figures stack up. [Read more…] about Where Are The Best Places To Invest In Social Property?