Ethical letting agency and private sector housing advice hub launched in Fife
Fife’s first ethical letting agency was officially launched last month.
Fife Private Rental Solutions (FPRS) is keen to support a strong and sustainable private rental sector which can assist in tackling the homeless issue in Fife. Not just for vulnerable tenants or those on benefits, the service has a range of services to assist landlords, letting agents and indeed anyone struggling in Fife’s private rental sector.
Caroline McCall, chief executive officer of Trust in Fife, said: “We’ve got an open-door policy where we will help with anything we can in the private rented sector and if we can’t help then we’ll refer them to a person who can. We’re a one-stop shop and our service is there for all people who require it.”
FPRS provides a free service to help letting agents keep tenants in their properties. It can source new funds, mediate between parties and devise payment plans. In each case, this package can be tailored to the client’s particular needs.
A particularly effective part of its offering is the Advanced Income Maximisation (AIM) service. This programme helps tenants in the private rental sector increase their income and thereby keep up their payments. Already it has assisted 24 people in getting backdated benefits to the value of £55,722.60. Another 39 people saw an increase in their monthly benefits to the value of £17,119.63.
On top of that, FPRS offers The Rent Resolution Service (RRS) which helps tenants who have fallen into arrears. The offering includes mediation, manageable payment plans and sourcing of grants.
Caroline added: “We’re offering free bespoke services to letting agents to help them sustain their accommodation. We will support anybody that needs help either for them as a tenant or for their relationship with the tenant to sustain their position in the private rented sector and prevent them from becoming homeless.”
Senior housing consultant Ben Moffatt said: “Landlords are so confused with changes in legislation. They’re asking for advice and being told, ‘Here’s a website, find out what to do.’. With us being a registered letting agent, we can actually sit down and do it with them. We can be a bit more hands-on. Some things may have a small cost but the things we do are all non-profit, so everything goes back into ensuring the sustainability of tenants within the private rented sector.”
The principal aim of FPRS is to help people sustain accommodation and prevent people from becoming homeless in Fife. With this in mind, FPRS offers a range of services to tenants.
Qualified staff can assist with property searching, income maximisation and preparing for the start of a tenancy. They can help with a deposit and paying rent in advance to secure a tenancy. In addition, if a tenant needs housing support, the team can refer them to Fife Council’s Short Term Housing Support service or provide tenants with a housing management service.