Do you have a property to rent?

Spelthorne Rent Assure (SRA) is a relatively new guarantee rent scheme for landlords who are interested in renting their local property through the Council. We currently have a high demand for two bedroom properties. The Council guarantees to directly pay landlords the full market rent for their property, for up to two years.

Other benefits include:

  • one month's rent paid directly in advance
  • a five-week repair bond
  • arrangement of property viewings
  • free tenancy agreements provided (including Right to Rent checks)
  • a free inventory service provided by a professional company
  • initial tenancy training at the start of the scheme
  • ongoing support for both the landlord and tenant is available for the duration of the scheme
  • a completely free service

Contact information

Register your interest in the Spelthorne Rent Assure Scheme

If you have any other queries please do not hesitate to contact the Rent Assure team on 01784 448611or by email to sra@spelthorne.gov.uk

We value your business, your comments and your feedback on the service.

Landlord FAQs

Who guarantees the rent?

Spelthorne Borough Council guarantees the rent.

How do you assess the market rent level?

The Council will assess the property and compare it with other similar local properties marketed for rental and agree a rent with you.

How and when will my rent be paid?

You will be paid monthly directly into your bank account by BACS within seven days of the contractual rent date.

What does the scheme cost me?

Spelthorne Rent Assure is a completely free service.

How long does the rent guarantee last?

The guarantee lasts for two years or until the end of the tenancy, whichever is earlier.

Is Spelthorne Rent Assure a property management service?

No we help you to find a tenant, collect and guarantee the rent for you and provide support for the duration of the scheme. You are responsible for the day to day management of the property including inspection, maintenance and repair.

How does Spelthorne Rent Assure support the landlord and tenant?

Your tenancy agreement is direct with the tenant. However we provide tenancy advice to landlords and tenants, and we will seek to mediate where either landlord or tenant have concerns.  We will make periodic visits to the tenant in the property to provide tenancy support.

How long does the tenancy last and is a tenancy agreement provided?

You will be provided with a 12 month fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement which must be used for the Spelthorne Rent Assure scheme. This will be renewed for a further 12 months after the expiry of the initial Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.

Am I able to end the Spelthorne Rent Assure agreement early? 

We hope that the Spelthorne Rent Assure scheme will enable long term lets.  However, the tenancy for the property has a 12 month fixed term after which point both landlord and tenant can end the tenancy by appropriate service of notice. The Rent Guarantee ends when the tenancy ends or after two years (whichever is earlier).

What happens if I need to sell my property?

Our rent guarantee agreement is with you as a landlord and it is not transferable to a new owner. If you intend to sell your property you must inform us at least three months' prior to the sale of the property, ensuring you serve the appropriate Section 21 Notice so that we can help the tenants prepare for this.

What happens after the two year rent guarantee?

The Spelthorne Rent Assure rent guarantee and repair bond agreement lasts for up to two years. The landlord and tenant then have the choice of:

  • letting the tenancy continue as a periodic tenancy
  • renewing the tenancy for a further fixed term
  • ending the tenancy

After the expiry of the rent guarantee and repair bond agreement the tenant would pay rent directly to the landlord and the repair bond expires.

Who pays the utility bills?

The tenant is solely responsible for all utility bills.

What certification does my property require?

A property must meet the Decent Homes Standard to be considered a suitable place to live. As a landlord you must make sure the property you own meets the legal minimum requirement for safety, has reasonably modern facilities, is warm and weather proof and is in a reasonable state of repair.

We require that you provide us with a copy of the following:

  • a valid Gas Safety Certificate
  • a valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • for any mortgaged property, confirmation that the lender is aware that the property is being privately rented
  • confirmation of building insurance

You would also need to provide a copy of the "How To Rent" booklet directly to the tenant upon placement.

A Guide for Landlords

Spelthorne Rent Assure - Guide for landlords

Spelthorne Rent Assure is a scheme for landlords, preferably with two-bedroom homes, to let their properties through the Council.

Monthly rent for the property will be guaranteed and paid by Spelthorne Council in advance, within a maximum of seven days of the rent agreement date, directly into a landlord's bank account. The tenants pay their rent to the Council.

By letting a property through Spelthorne Rent Assure, a landlord is not only guaranteed rental income, but will also give a family who have become homeless through no fault of their own the opportunity to find a home.

How does the scheme work?

Spelthorne Rent Assure is a completely free way of letting properties in the Spelthorne area. The scheme pays full local market rent directly to landlords, monthly in advance and guarantees up to six weeks repair bond for any of loss or damage to the property beyond fair wear and tear.

Before being accepted onto the scheme, a basic property health and safety inspection will be carried out by the Council and, if accepted, a free independent inventory will be commissioned and provided to the landlord at the start of the tenancy.

Property viewings are arranged for prospective tenants who have had training in how to manage their tenancy effectively.

The landlord is under no obligation to accept anyone nominated by the Council.

Periodic tenancy sustainment visits are undertaken by the Council during the course of the tenancy, with feedback provided for landlords. Ongoing support is available to both landlords and tenants throughout the whole tenancy.

What happens next?

If you are a landlord and wish to find a tenant through Spelthorne Rent Assure, please contact us to register your property with the scheme. One of our officers will arrange to meet with you to discuss the scheme and arrange to visit your property to ensure it complies with Health and Safety regulations and minimum property standards. 

We will need copies of your current Gas Safety and Energy Performance Certificates, both of which are legal requirements in rental properties. These are essential before we can sign a tenant up your property.

Prospective tenants will then be invited to meet the landlord and view the property. The landlord will choose from the tenants put forward by the Council.

We will then make arrangements for an inventory to be taken of the property so we have a record of the condition of the property before tenants move in.

Arrangements will be made for the Council, tenants and landlord to sign up to the agreements between the landlords, Council and tenant.

When your tenant moves in, we will visit them to check the condition of the property and offer support as required. Periodic visits will be scheduled during the course of the tenancy.

Agreements

The Council, landlords and tenants must sign up to the scheme to formalise the arrangements through a series of agreements

Copies of these agreements are included in the pack and consist of:

  • a Rent Guarantee and Repair Bond Agreement which is signed by the landlord and Spelthorne Borough Council at the start of the tenancy. This formalises the arrangements relating to rent payment and the repair bond for loss of rental or damage to property
  • an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which is provided free of charge and is signed by the landlord and the tenant. The scheme Assured Shorthold Tenancy is for a fixed period of 12 months.  For the second year of the scheme this tenancy will become a periodic tenancy. You do not need to re-issue another fixed term tenancy. This is a binding agreement and stipulates the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant
  • a Rent Collection Agreement is signed by the tenant and Spelthorne Borough Council.  This is a legal agreement stating that the tenant will pay their proportion of the rent directly to Spelthorne Borough Council.  It also stipulates the consequences of non-payment of rent

Benefits of Spelthorne Rent Assure for landlords

We hope you agree that the scheme we have introduced makes working with Spelthorne Council attractive for landlords. Our scheme is designed to take away risks around regular rental payment with features which will make working with the Council as attractive and straightforward as possible for prospective landlords.

Benefits of this completely free scheme include:

  • competitive guaranteed local market rental income paid in advance directly into the landlord's bank account
  • a six weeks repair bond provided
  • property viewings arranged by the Council at times to suit the landlord
  • an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement supplied
  • assistance to complete the statutory Right-to Rent checks
  • a free of charge professional inventory at the start of the tenancy
  • tenancy sustainment training provided for all prospective tenants with ongoing support from the Council if necessary
  • tenancy sustainment visits to the property whilst the tenant is in situ

Tenant finding service

We have many potential tenants waiting for homes. We will arrange for a number of suitable tenants to view your property at a time that is convenient for you. You can then choose your favoured tenant and we will let the tenants know if they have been successful or not.

All tenants proposed will have attended a Council training session covering the key requirements for how to be a good tenant.

To help meet your legal obligations, we will also help you complete your 'Right to Rent' check on your tenant(s).

Utility and Council Tax bills

The tenant will be responsible for paying the Council Tax and utility bills.  Meter readings will be taken at the start of the tenancy and included in the inventory.

Deposit protection against property damage

A cash deposit is not provided with these tenancies. Instead a Rent Guarantee and Repair Bond Agreement is signed between the Landlord and Spelthorne Borough Council. The Repair Bond covers the equivalent of six weeks rent and can be claimed upon when the tenant vacates, if there is damage to the property. After the two year period the repair bond ceases.

Tenancy agreement

  • we will provide every landlord with a scheme Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement free of charge which must be used 
  • the scheme Assured Shorthold Tenancy is for a fixed period of 12 months.  For the second year of the scheme this tenancy will become a periodic tenancy. You do not need to re-issue another fixed term tenancy

Landlords' terms

We would expect you to:

  • let your property through Spelthorne Rent Assure for up to two years
  • comply with the terms of the relevant agreements entered into with the Council and tenant
  • be aware of your obligations to keep your property in good repair under the law. Manage and inspect your property and to carry out any required repairs
  • provide a safe property in good condition
  • insure the property and landlord's contents to their full value against loss or damage. Provide a copy of the insurance cover to the tenant if requested
  • tell us who is going to manage the property on your behalf (if you will not be managing the property directly or you don't live nearby)

Rental property standards

As a minimum, landlords should provide the basic white goods such as a cooker and washing machine. You will be expected to maintain these items throughout the tenancy.

We will inspect your property before we accept it onto Spelthorne Rent Assure to ensure it meets legal and health and safety standards. If we find you need to carry out some work on your property before you can join the scheme, we will advise you on how to meet the standards.

The property needs to have:

  • a good standard of repair
  • a valid and up to date Gas Safety Certificate
  • a  valid and up to date Energy Performance Certificate at grade E or above
  • smoke alarms, carbon monoxide units and adequate fire safety precautions provided
  • safe electrics
  • relevant planning permissions and building control consents in place

Ending the tenancy

Please contact us immediately if either:

  • you wish to end the tenancy. You will need to give the required notice as stipulated in the Rent Guarantee and Repair Bond Agreement
  • your tenants leave your property without notice

The Council will try to support your tenant and assist in resolving any problems encountered during the tenancy. However, if the tenant chooses not to engage with us we may ask you to bring the tenancy agreement to an end. We will provide support during this process.

Once the property is empty and if you identify any damage to the property beyond fair wear, the council will meet reasonable repair costs up to six weeks rent equivalent, subject to evidence provided.

Contacts