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STIRLING COUNCIL PRIVATE SECTOR LEASING SCHEME _PSL_

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					             HOUSING SERVICES




         PRIVATE SECTOR LEASING
                 SCHEME

      CONTRACT SPECIFICATION
               and
    LANDLORD APPLICATION FORM




5 May 2009


                                  1
CONTENTS                                Page

1.   Introduction                        3

2.   Contract Specification - summary    4

3.   Contract Specification:

     Part 1: Management                  5
     Part 2: Property Condition          6
     Part 3: Rents                       9
     Part 4: Monitoring leases          11
     Part 5: Application form           12
     Part 6: Business Probity form      15
     Part 7: Declaration

4.   Landlord checklist                 16

5.   Contact Details                    17




                                               2
1.   Introduction

     Stirling Council Housing Services has identified the need for additional
     temporary accommodation for use by homeless households.

     We are seeking to expand our portfolio of temporary accommodation by
     developing a Private Sector Leasing (PSL) scheme.

     We seek to procure temporary accommodation from private sector
     landlords, and by entering into long term leases be able to provide a low
     risk opportunity for Landlords and in turn provide best value for Stirling
     Council (the Council).

     We are seeking properties of various sizes and locations throughout the
     Council area. However, we will only accept properties that fall within
     Council Tax band A, B or C.

     We will assess applications for inclusion in the PSL scheme following the
     tender advert on Stirling Council's website on 12 February 2009.

     It is not essential that the property is vacant at the time of application.
     However, we will inspect all properties following applications to determine
     if the property is suitable. Where the property is suitable, and the landlord
     is registered with the Council, we will agree the lease start date with the
     landlord.

     This pack includes:

        a Contract Specification that sets out our criteria for selection of
         properties, including locations, property standards and anticipated rent
         paid. It also provides clear guidance on requirements and ensures
         that the evaluation of properties is transparent and consistent.

        an Application Form for all private sector landlords interested in
         being included in the Private Sector leasing scheme.

        a Business Probity form

        a Checklist of all documents that must be submitted with the
         application

     The completed and signed application from must be submitted with
     the completed business probity form.




                                                                                 3
2.   Contract specification – summary

     This summary of the contract specification details the defined criteria that
     all properties must meet:

        The owner of the property and the property is registered under the
         Landlord Registration Scheme;
        The ownership of the property has been established (note Council
         employees or relatives must declare an interest - see Probity Form);
        The property meets the specified property standards including safety
         certification;
        The property is located within Stirling Council area. This will take
         account of established demand, the proximity of other temporary lets
         and Houses in Multiple Occupation HMOs (to avoid high density of the
         provision of temporary accommodation) and other relevant issues,
         such as anti-social behaviour, within any area;
        The property will be available for a minimum period of 3 years. We
         will agree the lease start date with the landlord;
        The property, at the lease start date, will be available to lease
         unfurnished, with no floor coverings and with vacant possession. (The
         landlord may be asked to provide evidence that the most recent
         tenancy has come to a natural end);
        The property will be clean and freshly decorated in neutral colours;
        The property falls within Council Tax bands A, B or C;
        The rent aligns with the Local Housing Allowance;
        The property is not subject to any Planning or Repairs Notices;
        The landlord agrees to the replacement of a dry meter with a key-card
         meter at no cost to the landlord;
        The landlord agrees to the Council undertaking the initial gas and
         electric safety check and to repaying the costs in full;
        The landlord agrees to the Council providing an Energy Performance
         Certificate where required and to repaying the costs in full;
        The landlord will provide proof of being the legal owner of the
         property i.e. copy of the ‘ Title Deeds’;
        If the property is subject to a ‘heritable security’, i.e. a mortgage,
         the landlord will provide proof that the mortgage lender has given
         their permission for the property to be rented out e.g. letter from
         mortgage lender or solicitor;
        The landlord will provide proof of current Buildings Insurance and
         Public Liability Insurance. We will carry out annual and random
         checks to ensure that insurances are in place and at the
         appropriate level;
        The landlord will provide proof that the insurance company is
         aware that the property will be rented out e.g. letter from
         insurance company ; and

                                                                                4
   The Council will carry out annual safety checks as appropriate at no
    cost to the landlord. However, any repairs or replacement of faulty
    appliances provided as part of the property, such as the central heating
    boiler, will be recharged fully to the landlord.




                                                                           5
3.   Contract specification

     Part 1:      Management

     The contract between the landlord and the Council will be formalised
     within a lease. A lease can be for periods of 3 years, 5 years or 10 years.
     The lease will include, the 'lease period', the 'rent to be paid by the
     Council' and the 'conditions of the lease'.

     Management of the property will transfer from the landlord to the Council
     at the lease start date.

     The contract between the landlord and the Council will provide for a
     transfer of the landlord management and internal maintenance
     responsibilities to the Council. This will include safety inspections and
     certifications.

     The financial savings associated with the transfer of landlord management
     and internal maintenance responsibilities should be reflected in the
     anticipated rental return as incentives will apply for 5 year and 10 year
     leases.

     The landlord will continue to be responsible for all external repairs.
     However, we may also from time to time contact the landlord to carry out
     an external inspection of the property and the landlord must be available
     when requested for external inspections. The landlord must remedy any
     external defects determined following the landlord's own inspection of the
     property and following any defects reported to the landlord by other
     parties, within a reasonable timescale.

     The property will be available to lease unfurnished, with no floor coverings
     and with vacant possession. (The landlord may be asked to provide
     evidence that the most recent tenancy has come to a natural end).

     We will not accept properties that do not comply with the contract
     specification.   However, where issues are rectified within an agreed
     timescale, we will reconsider the application.

     We will carry out all safety checks before formalising the contract and we
     will recharge the landlord the full cost of this.




                                                                                6
Part 2:    Property condition
     External Standards
     Structure
         The walls must be structurally stable, free from dampness and in
            good repair:
         The roof must be watertight and not have any loose or missing
            tiles/slates;
         The guttering and down pipes must be securely fixed, free from any
            blockages and in good repair;
         Doors and windows must be wind and watertight and in good
            repair;
         Must comply with current building control regulations.

     Garden and outbuildings
        The garden must be clear of rubbish and have vegetation cut back
          including grass, shrubs and bushes;
        Fences, walls, pathways and gates must be in good repair; and
        Sheds and garages must be in good repair.

     Internal Standards
     Walls, Ceilings, Floors, Pipes and General Property Condition
          Must be free of dampness, mould and condensation, and freshly
            decorated in neutral colours;
          Plasterwork must be sound and watertight;
          Floorboards and woodwork must be free from any rot; and
          Pipes and taps must be free of leaks.

     Doors and Windows
        Must open and close freely, with handles, bolts and latches that are
           fully functional;
        Windows above ground level must be fitted with a ‘window restrictor
           mechanism’ where appropriate;
        All glass paned doors must be fitted with safety glass or glass
           safety film;
        The property should have secure window locks and secure front
           and rear access doors (where appropriate) that do not prejudice
           escape; and
        A full set of keys must be supplied at the start of the lease period.

     Heating
        The property must have an effective, efficient, safely designed and
           economical central heating system which complies with Building
           Standard regulations.




                                                                             7
Standard Amenities
General
    The fixtures and fittings provided for making use of utility services
     should be in a good state of repair and working order;
    There must be no lead pipes to or within the property;
    Plumbing and drainage must be in working order;
    The property must have running hot and cold water; and
    The property must have an internal bathroom and w.c.

Bedrooms
   Every bedroom should be capable of accommodating at least:
         a bed (or two single beds depending on the room size);
         a wardrobe (except where a built in wardrobe is provided);
         a chest of drawers; and
         the associated activity spaces with the above.

Gas/Electric/Energy
Gas Safety
   All gas appliances and installation pipework must have been
      maintained in a safe condition and meet current regulations.

   Stirling Council will instruct a full gas safety inspection (at the
   landlord’s cost) by a fully qualified Gas Safe registered engineer
   before any lease is undertaken.

Electrical Safety
    The electrical circuits, hardwiring and mains board within the
       property must meet current regulations:

   Stirling Council will instruct a full electrical inspection (at the
   landlord’s cost) by a fully qualified approved electrician before any
   lease is undertaken.

Energy Performance Certificate
   From 4 January 2009, all landlords must provide an Energy
     Performance Certificate (EPC) where applicable;
   The EPC must be obtained from a registered ‘EPC’ provider;
   The Scottish Building Standards Agency website can give more
     information on this www.sbsa.gov.uk;
   A copy of the ‘EPC’ certificate must be permanently displayed in
     the property;

   Stirling Council will instruct an ‘EPC’ inspection (at the landlord’s cost),
   if an ‘EPC’ has not already been provided.




                                                                              8
Fire Safety
Smoke Detection
    A fire blanket and fire extinguisher must be provided in the kitchen

If the property is a flat i.e. on one level;
      existing smoke alarms can be either battery or mains powered; and
      any new smoke alarm fitted must be mains wired.

If the property is two storey’s or more i.e. a house with a lower and upper
floor or a maisonette;

      mains wired smoke alarms must be fitted on each floor – battery
       powered smoke alarms are not permitted.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors
    must be fitted to all properties where there is a gas supply.

Insurance
Buildings Insurance
    The landlord must provide adequate ‘Buildings Insurance’ to enable
       the rebuilding cost of the property if it were to be completely
       destroyed.    The level of cover should be reviewed annually to
       ensure adequate cover is maintained.

Public Liability Insurance
   The landlord must provide ‘Public Liability Insurance’ of £5,000,000
       (five million pounds) to be in both the name of the landlord and the
       Council. The level of cover should be reviewed annually to ensure
       adequate cover is maintained.

The landlord must provide the current annual certificate of both the
‘Buildings Insurance’ and the ‘Public Liability Insurance’ (original).

Copies of all subsequent annual certificates must be provided. Annual
and random checks will be carried out to ensure that insurances are
current and to the appropriate level.




                                                                            9
Part 3:       Rents
     We will agree the rental charge based on a formula which takes into
     account the period of lease and Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels.
     LHA levels are set by the Department of Work & Pensions based on the
     median level of rent within the local market.  The Council will pay a
     maximum rent equivalent to the LHA minus 15%. The 15% discount has
     been calculated to reflect that the council:

          will not charge a management fee (as is normal practice of commercial
           property agents);
          will pay rent throughout the term of the lease, with no void periods;
          will undertake all internal repairs required during the term of the lease
           and all void repairs required to the property; and
          do not require the property to be furnished.

     We will base rent levels on the LHA as set at September 2008 as detailed
     below:

     Rates for September 2008
          Number of bedrooms        Monthly LHA        Maximum rent paid by
                                                             council
     Shared Room Rate                         £301                      £256
     1 Bedroom                                £375                      £319
     2 Bedrooms                               £495                      £421
     3 Bedrooms                               £575                      £489
     4 Bedrooms                               £895                      £761
     5 Bedrooms                             £1,300                    £1,105

     Example
     A 2-bedroom property - The council will pay up to £5,052 rent per annum (£421
     per month for 12 months). A property let through a letting agent for the same
     period accrues £4,678 rent (i.e. £495 per month for 12 months, assuming 6
     weeks rent loss between leases and a 10% management fee).

     We will set rent levels relative to the LHA and the length of the lease.
     Incentives will be applied to promote longer term lease options e.g.:

          3 year leases will have a fixed rent applied for the duration of the
           lease;
          5 year or 10 year leases will include an annual rent increase
          We will base rent increases on the Retail Price Index (RPI) from the
           previous September (in line with government practice) and will reflect
           the September LHA rates applicable at the time. We will apply the
           first rent increase at the earliest April following the completion of the
           first 12 months of the lease.



                                                                                  10
We will apply penalties as follows:

   Where a 5 year or 10 year lease is terminated at any point within the
    first 5 years of the lease, due to breach of the lease by the landlord
    (owner), the Council will pursue the landlord for the value of the rent
    increases;
   Where the Council withdraws from a 5 year or 10 year lease at any
    time within the first 5 years and there has been no breach of the lease
    by the landlord, the Council will not seek reimbursement of rent
    increases received by the landlord.

We will apply the rent formula consistently across all properties. We will
pay the rent monthly to the landlord in advance by standing order.




                                                                         11
Part 4:       Monitoring leases

Housing Services, Private Rented Housing team will monitor the leases, to
ensure that both parties comply with the lease, including the requirement
for the Council to satisfy itself that the landlord has purchased current and
appropriate insurances. The Private Rented Housing team will carry out
annual and random checks of insurance certificates.

The Council will carry out annual safety checks. The Private Rented
Housing team will ensure that these are renewed as appropriate, that
certificates are available and details are recorded.




                                                                           12
       Part 5:        Application form

       Landlord and property details

       Please complete the application form in full and provide all documents requested
       to enable us to consider your application promptly.

       If your are applying to lease more than one property, you must complete in full
       detail a new application form for each property. If you do not do this, your
       application will be invalid.

                                         Information                              check
1. Applicant name

2. Applicant address

3. Email address

4. Telephone number - business

5. Telephone number - mobile

6. Property address

7. Property postcode

8. Name of owner of property if
   different from above

9. Address of owner

10. Landlord registration number

11. Council Tax Band

12. Is property currently tenanted?      Yes/No

13. Date when property will be
    available
14. Property Type: (please circle)       detached house
                                         semi detached house
                                         flat
15. If property is a flat, what is the
    floor level? How many stairs to
    property?
16. Is the property located on a hill?   Yes/No

                                                                                     13
17. Number of bedrooms

18. Is smoke alarm battery or hard
    wired? Note – 2 storey
    properties must be hard wired
19. Detail other fire safety equipment
    installed
20. Name of electricity supplier

21. Type of electric meter

22. Name of gas supplier

23. Type of gas meter

24. Does the property have a full        Yes/No
    central heating system?
25. Type of heating system installed?

26. Age of heating system installed?

27. Date heating system last
    maintained?
28. Are there any thermal efficiency     Yes/No
    measures installed in the
    property?
29. Provide details of thermal
    efficiency measures installed
30. Does the property have a current
    Energy Performance Certificate
    (EPC)?
31. What distance is the property from
    the local health centre or GP
32. What distance is the property from
    nearest primary school?
33. What distance is the property from
    the nearest secondary school?
34. What distance is the property from
    shops?
35. What distance is the property from
    a bus stop?
36. How frequent is the bus service
    into Stirling city centre?
37. What distance is the property from
    a rail station?
38. How frequent is the rail service
    into Stirling city centre?

                                                  14
We will inspect all properties that we are interested in to ensure that they comply
with the contract specification.
To help us consider your application please confirm the following:
When were the kitchen units fitted (please circle)
a) less than 5 years   b) between 5 and 10 years          c) over 10 years

Does the kitchen have integrated white goods? Yes/No

If yes, please state the age of the appliances

Please state the condition of the appliances.


When was the bathroom fitted (please circle)
a) less than 5 years  b) between 5 and 10 years           c) over 10 years

Please state the condition of the sanitary ware:
       w.c.
       bath
       shower
       wash hand basin

Additional relevant information/comments about the property:




       Signed:

       Print name:

       Date:




                                                                             15
      Part 6:         Business Probity form

      Please complete the Business Probity form in full and submit it with each
      application form to allow us to consider your application promptly.
Please confirm whether any of the following applies to your organisation.
1. Are you VAT registered?                                                                 YES

   If Yes, please provide your VAT Registration number -                                   NO

2. Is the organisation bankrupt or being wound up, having its affairs administered         YES
   by the court, or have you entered into an arrangement with creditors,
   suspended business activities or any analogous situation arising from similar           NO
   proceedings under national laws or regulations?
3. Is the organisation the subject of proceedings for a declaration of bankruptcy,         YES
   for compulsory winding-up or administration by the court or for an arrangement
   with creditors or of any other similar proceedings under national laws or               NO
   regulations?
4. Has any employee whom you would propose to use to deliver this service been             YES
   convicted of an offence concerning his professional conduct by a judgement
   which has the force of res judicata?                                                    NO

5. Has any employee whom you would propose to use to deliver this service been             YES
   guilty of misrepresentation in supplying or failing to supply the information that
   may be required in this Section?                                                        NO

6. Has any employee whom you would propose to use to deliver this service been             YES
   guilty of grave professional misconduct?
                                                                                           NO

7. Has the organisation failed to fulfil obligations relating to the payment of social     YES
   security contributions in accordance with the legal provisions of the United
   Kingdom or the country in which it is established?                                      NO

8. Has the organisation failed to fulfil obligations relating to the payment of taxes in   YES
   accordance with the legal provisions of the United Kingdom or the country in
   which it is established?                                                                NO

9. Has the organisation failed to fulfil obligations relating to environmental             YES
   protection, employment protection and working conditions in accordance with
   the legal provisions of the United Kingdom or the country in which it is
   established?                                                                            NO

10. Are you, or any member of your family employed by Stirling Council? If yes,            YES
    please provide details. (This is for information only and has no affect on the
    outcome of the application).                                                           NO


      Signed:

      Print name:

      Date:
                                                                                                 16
Part 7: Declaration


Declaration



Date:


Name of Landlord/Owner:


Property Address:



I confirm the above application form has been completed in full and that the
details provided are correct.

I now wish you to proceed with my application to consider the above noted
property for inclusion within the Private Sector Leasing Scheme. I confirm I
understand the criteria as detailed within the Contract Specification and I will
comply with the process of assessment, leading to a Lease contract between
Stirling Council and the Landlord/Owner.




                                              Signature:…………………..




                                                                              17
4:     Landlord checklist


Documents to be provided                                             Please tick √
                                                                     those provided
Completed contract specification - part 5
Business Probity Form – part 6
Copy of the ‘Title Deeds’ (this will be required if application is
to progress)
Buildings and Public liability insurance of £5m
Confirmation that lender has granted permission for property to
be rented out i.e. letter
Confirmation that insurance company is aware that property
will be rented out i.e. letter
Floor plan of property
Declaration – part 7
Copy of current energy performance certificate (EPC)




                                                                                 18
5:    Contact details:


For further information on the Private Sector Leasing Scheme please email:

psl@stirling.gov.uk




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