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Landlords offered cash incentives for 12-month tenancies

Colchester Borough Homes has launched a campaign to raise awareness of its Homestep scheme, which is working to increase the availability of accommodation for people looking in the private rented sector.

Homestep offers landlords the opportunity to take the hassle out of renting their property, by offering free support and advice throughout the process. Colchester Borough Homes will also pay one month’s rent in advance, five weeks damage deposit* and a goodwill payment worth up to £750 in exchange for a 12-month shorthold tenancy.

The campaign is aimed at landlords with a property to let in the Colchester area. Videos profiling the sign-up process feature private landlords who have been working with Colchester Borough Homes for many years, who explain the advantages of letting their property through Homestep.

Colchester Borough Homes Chief Executive, Gareth Mitchell said: “It is important for us to be innovative when looking for ways to address the housing need in Colchester. Homestep is a crucial scheme, which will help to generate much needed additional accommodation.

“Landlords who join the scheme will benefit from free advice and support throughout the process. I would recommend anyone who has a property to let in Colchester to have a conversation with our team to learn more about the numerous benefits of letting in partnership with Colchester Borough Homes.”

CBH has a large number of families looking for private rented accommodation in the Colchester area – as such, landlords who sign up for the scheme should have lots of potential tenants referred to them, which will give them greater choice over who they offer the tenancy to and reduced void periods.

Rachel Smith, a Landlord working with CBH says of the process: “I’ve had a property with CBH since 2002. The rent gets paid directly to the landlord. I’ve had 10 tenants in total across those 17 years, all from the Council and the relationship has always worked really well. Throughout the process they are always there to help you out.”

This is part of a wider strategy working in partnership with Colchester Borough Council to deliver more homes for local people on Colchester Borough Council’s housing waiting list over the next five years.

Councillor Adam Fox, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “The Homestep scheme and our work with the private sector is an important part of driving forward our ambitious commitment to deliver affordable homes, which our residents need and want.

“We are building on the partnerships we have with Colchester Borough Homes and our housing company CAHL to help achieve this goal.”

For more information about how you can gain cash incentives and take the hassle out of letting your property by working with Colchester Borough Homes please visit: https://cbhomes.org.uk/homestep

The Homestep video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW3YigH4F9I&t=2s

*Since government legislation change on 1 June 2019 damage deposit will be for five weeks

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