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Private Property Leasing Scheme - Do You Have Property To Let?

28th December 2004

COUNCIL ENCOURAGED WITH RESPONSE
TO PRIVATE PROPERTY LEASING SCHEME

Highland Council's Housing Service has been greatly encouraged by its public appeal earlier this month to private property owners to consider leasing their properties to the Council.

Members and officials have welcomed the response from 24 people from throughout the Highlands who have contacted Housing staff to enquire about the Council's private leasing scheme.

From the 6th December, the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004 made it illegal for local authorities to accommodate families and pregnant women in bed and breakfast accommodation unless in emergency situations up to a maximum of fourteen days. To try to meet this legislation the Council put out an appeal via the media to the public highlighting the private leasing scheme.

Following coverage in the Highland media, the Council has received 9 enquiries at the headquarters office, relating to 12 properties available for leasing, one new enquiry in Lochaber Area, 2 enquiries in Nairn, 1 enquiry in Badenoch and Strathspey, and 12 good offers in Inverness Area, and these enquiries are still coming in.

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of The Highland Council's Housing and Social Work Committee said: "The response is really encouraging and we will be following up the contacts made with all the folk that have come forward and seeing what we can do with their properties.

"It is good to see the whole Highland Community taking responsibility for homelessness in the Highlands. People are beginning to realise that there are many reasons why all sorts of people become homeless, it can happen to anyone, and it is good that we are working towards tackling this in Highland. The Council's private leasing scheme is not well known about and the more people that know and consider it the better."

Tracey Urry, The Highland Council's Acting Head of Housing Strategy said: "The key problem that we are facing is the sheer lack of suitable accommodation and we are keen to encourage private property owners across Highland to consider leasing their properties to the Council to help tackle this shortage."

"Not many people realise that the Council's Housing Service can offer private leasing arrangements and I would urge anyone who has vacant property to consider leasing through The Highland Council and to contact us at our Area Housing Offices. We will look at any property regardless of size."

The Council's Housing Service can offer the following terms to private owners who lease their properties to the Council:
* Three to nineteen year leases.
* Agreed rents guaranteed to increase by the annual rate of inflation + 1% each year.
* Management of tenants.
* Properties guaranteed to be maintained to accepted standards throughout the period of the lease.

Anyone interested should contact The Highland Council's Housing Service on 01463 702052 and leave their details.

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