Setting up a social lettings agency

More and more people in the UK are finding it difficult to find affordable rented accommodation. Social lettings agencies run by councils, ALMOs or housing associations can maximise the supply of private rented homes by offering local landlords a range of property management options to help tackle increasing demand.

Setting up a social lettings agency

The scale and type of a social lettings agency will depend on a number of factors, including the local private rented market and the pressures on social landlords to meet housing need. The main principle is to help prevent homelessness or overcome barriers to the private sector by finding households a privately rented home through maximising the supply of private rented accommodation available to them.

Updated for 2017 this training builds on the lessons learned from the numerous new and successful SLAs established in all areas across the country in 2016.

This training will enable councils, ALMOs and housing associations to make informed decisions about setting up an agency in their area.

It will provide up-to-date information and an illustration of a successful social lettings agency to give a full understanding of how they operate and enable delegates to make decisions about setting one up.

Delegates will learn about...

• The key housing facts in your organisation and how they relate to establishing an agency
• Any localised factors that will have an impact on your agency
• What their organisation would achieve from an agency
• The main marketing factors
• The characteristics of your rental market
• How to set rents and pay landlords to generate an income surplus
• The types of property management services on offer
• How to incentivise your agency
• What has worked and what hasn’t for established agencies
• What housing needs groups can be targeted?
• How to pay for an agency and then generate income
• Providing the procurement and management services
• Providing an SLA within a wider private housing options service.

Who should attend?

The training is appropriate for everyone who would be involved in setting up a social lettings agency run by councils, ALMOs or housing associations, including housing strategy teams, housing options services, lettings teams, homelessness and homelessness prevention services, housing management and housing finance.

Setting up a social lettings agency

Martin Pereira

Technical Martin Pereira

Martin is a committed housing professional with over 22 years’ experience of social sector property management, homelessness prevention and working alongside the private housing market to balance demand. As a previous local authority senior manager and now an independent housing consultant, he has become a valued member of housing executive teams with a proven record of accomplishment of leading services through change and programmes that have modernised operational functions.

He has held overall responsibility for key housing services including the Property Management and Procurement, Housing Research and Housing Strategy and Policy. Since then, he has secured contracts with the leading professional housing organisations to provide consultancy services, business support, seminars training courses.  

Many of his consultancy contracts have focussed on enabling housing organisations to maximise the use the private rented sector to tackle homelessness and looking at new ways to prevent homelessness, and innovative ways to tackle housing demand.  More recently, he has been helping local authorities develop new Housing Strategies that realistically deal with the current housing challenges and he has carried out reviews of services including Selective Licencing Schemes and Social Lettings Agencies.

This followed his achievement of establishing on of the country’s first fully operational Social Lettings Agency in the London Borough of Havering which, was recognised at the Inside Housing Awards winning the ‘Diversify your Business’ category in March 2015.

training track record

HQN has a track record of helping organisations achieve real and lasting performance improvements. If you are interested in accessing this training package, please contact us by emailing training@hqnetwork.co.uk