New housing agency opens its doors in Luton
Luton Lets Squared, a new high street estate agent, officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday, December 5.
Luton Council has joined forces with local community housing association squared to for a ‘Social Letting Agency’, known as Luton Lets Squared.
The two organisations, supported by the Housing Communities and Local Government Committee, are becoming a high street estate agent with services covering social lettings, private rented lettings and sales.
This agency was created to provide a route to the private rented sector for applicants who are on benefits and low incomes. People can find it hard to get high quality accommodation because of the challenges of needing to be able to provide deposits, references and other criteria which can be significant obstacles.
Luton Lets Squared will have a different philosophy to that of high street letting agents and it will offer a wider range of services.
Tenants will not be charged for the service, making it particularly appealing for those on low incomes, support will be available for those who have been sleeping rough and the service will offer alternative accommodation before people become homeless.
Luton Lets Squared will target individuals and groups who would not normally be able to use a high street letting agent - specifically those who already homeless and living in temporary accommodation.
The service will not be making a profit from housing those threatened with homelessness, and it will raise property conditions, to high lettable and management standards.
In order to help sustain the social letting aspect of the company, competitive fees will be charged for the private rented and sales service. Profits made in this way will enable the company to offer properties at below market values.
Unlike other agencies, staff will not receive commission on properties – underlining Luton Lets Squared’s commitment to support those who find it the hardest to access suitable housing.
John Holman, interim service director for housing, said: “Luton Lets Squared is an exciting initiative that brings together the accumulated knowledge and experience of two valued organisations.
"Affordable accommodation is vital for everyone in the town – irrespective of who they are – and for many a dependable, secure home is the first step towards lifting themselves out of financial hardship. Luton lets will play a small but vital role in delivering the council’s aim of no one living in poverty by 2040.”
Lynda Rees, chief executive of Squared, said: “Squared is a local housing organisation and as such is totally committed to providing housing for the least able to compete in the private rental market.
"We are very happy to be working in partnership with LBC on this Joint venture”
In addition to providing expert services to its customers, a major goal of the company is to drive up the standards of rented accommodation throughout Luton.
The new house agency has opened on Upper George Street, Luton.