Plans to create a so-called "social lettings agency" have moved a step closer for Northampton Borough Council.
The scheme, which the council says will "transform the lettings market in Northampton", aims to improve the standard of accommodation and management in Northampton's private rented sector and bring empty homes back into use to help homeless people.
The council will lease properties from private owners for up to seven years and will be letting and managing accommodation, on behalf of owners, in return for a management fee.
Cabinet Member for housing and wellbeing, Councillor Stephen Hibbert, said: “With the need for affordable housing increasing, the social lettings agency is being developed as part of the borough council’s commitment to improving communities and our town as a place to live.
“By charging low fees and offering excellent service and longer tenancies, we are hoping that the social lettings agency will not only offer landlords and tenants a better deal but it will also encourage other letting agents in Northampton to raise their game”.
The social lettings agency is seeking to manage up to 100 properties during the first year of operation and hopes that the first tenant will be able to move in by January.
A spokesman for the council said: "At this stage, the council is especially keen to talk to the owners of empty properties in the borough – including those that require up to £6,000 of work to bring them up to a lettable standard – who are interested in leasing their properties to the council for three, five or seven years."
Landlords who would like to find out more, can contact Robert Endersby on 01604 838117 or email REndersby@northampton.gov.uk