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Letting Agent Plus

Letting Agent Plus

Anyone can find themselves in need of a bit of help at some point during their lives. The ‘Letting Agent Plus’ service is funded by the Oak Foundation, and designed to make it easier for letting agents to offer the right support to people who are struggling to maintain their tenancies in the private sector or secure one in the first place.

If a letting agent is displaying the ‘Letting Agent Plus’ logo on their website, it means they are one of thirteen, across the central belt of Scotland, committed to offering this complimentary service. The pilot project, in partnership with Shelter Scotland, aims to improve private tenants’ ability to get essential advice or support when they need it.

Shelter Scotland is supporting letting agents to provide this service by offering: one-to-one advice on particular tenant issues; improved referral routes into advice and support services; and access to tailored training and resources through a ‘Letting Agent Plus’ Development Officer.

‘Letting Agent Plus’ partner agents’ internal policies and procedures will promote, the following key Letting Agent Plus principles:

Encourage inclusion

Agents take applications for tenancies from prospective tenants who:

  • have additional support needs
  • are in receipt of benefits
  • are on a low income

Extra help to secure a tenancy

Agents can offer prospective tenants support to identify and apply for:

  • grants and/or schemes of assistance towards initial tenancy costs such as deposits, rent in advance payments or furniture
  • benefits that can help towards household costs including rent
  • appropriate local services for tenants who require extra help to settle into and/or manage their tenancy

Collaborative working

Agents have streamlined referral routes into advice and support agencies with specialist knowledge and expertise (including Shelter Scotland, Citizens Advice Bureaux and local authority teams) so tenants should never have to face problems on their own.

Ending tenancies as a last resort

To avoid having to end tenancies when tenants experience difficulties, agents will:

  • actively look out for and identify initial signs that help might be needed
  • encourage early disclosure of problems before they reach a crisis point
  • treat admissions of personal circumstances, bereavements and/or health issues professionally, with due sensitivity and patience
  • seek to provide information or assistance in-house to resolve issues or, with the tenant’s consent, arrange for a referral to be made to a relevant advice or support agency
  • where appropriate consent has been secured, refer tenant contact details to an external organisation for help if the tenant won’t engage directly

Contact

Natasha Miller

Natasha Miller

Letting Agent Plus Development Officer

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