Scottish Home Awards 2020 ‘Residential Letting Team of the Year’: Southside Letting
The Southside Lettings Team delivers a range of commercial activities for Southside Housing Association through a legal not for profit subsidiary. The Southside Lettings Team is responsible for marketing and allocating Mid Market Rent (MMR) properties throughout the south side of Glasgow and marketing and allocating properties for private landlords.
During the last 12 months Southside Lettings developed the MMR business to include over 200 properties and a further 30 properties were allocated on behalf of private landlords. Southside Lettings focuses on customer satisfaction and a recent customer baseline survey shows that 93% of Southside Lettings tenants were satisfied with the service they received and over 80% felt their home represented “Good Value for Money”. (Research Resource survey results March 2019).
The Southside Lettings Team is a unique and innovative brand within the housing association sector that blends the strength of public and private lettings experience. Southside Lettings has developed as a new brand for MMR and Private Letting and during the past year has:
- Let over 200 mid market rent properties.
- Let over 30 properties for private landlords.
- Developed a new bespoke website.
- Established a high street letting portal.
Southside Lettings is an ethical registered letting agent managing over 30 properties on behalf of private landlords and managing a portfolio of over 200 MMR properties. A full management service is provided to private landlords at a competitive entry level rate. The Southside Lettings service provides a comprehensive management service for busy property owners looking for a stress free relationship with their letting agent. Southside Lettings emphasise the transparency of their costs and provides good quality affordable housing to tenants. A large number of our rentals are below the Local Housing Allowance to ensure affordability for tenants. Annual rent increases are reasonable and carried out in accordance with private letting legislation under the Private Residential Tenancy.
Southside Housing Association, which owns Southside Lettings, is committed to developing thriving neighbourhoods in the south side of Glasgow and Southside Lettings in an integral part of this approach. Linking social housing neighbourhood management with a private sector approach to lettings, Southside Lettings also links with the Association’s factoring service to ensure an integrated approach to neighbourhood management.
Key neighbourhoods on the south side of Glasgow have experienced dramatic growth in private renting in the past 20 years. This has often been coupled with a breakdown in the traditional factoring arrangements that managed and maintained the common areas of the city’s Victorian tenement stock. Southside Letting was conceived as a response to these challenges and provides a bridge between the public sector experience of the housing association and the burgeoning private rented sector, whilst also providing an integrated neighbourhood management approach. In addition to the 200 MMR lets, and 30 private lets for landlords, we are expanding our factoring role and working with residents to improve back courts and common areas. This work is supported by our own in-house Facilities Management team.
One of our initiatives last year involved working with Glasgow City Council to improve and reconfigure over 20 former bed-sits in the Strathbungo area. (in January 2020, Strathbungo was identified as the poorest neighbourhood in the housing domain of the Scottish Government’s Indicators of Multiple Deprivation, SIMD). In addition to the dramatic physical improvements Southside Lettings was able to provide these new homes at an affordable rent (including white goods and carpets), whilst also taking over the factoring of problem closes and improving the common areas and increasing security for all the residents in the buildings. The work of Southside Letting improves a private renting tenure by lifting physical standards, ensuring professional property management and maintenance and delivering affordable housing choices.
The Southside Lettings Team combine both a direct landlord role and the registered letting agent role. Tenants take confidence from the 50 years of regulated housing association experience that supports the Southside Lettings Team. Landlords take comfort from the priority given to tenant safety, a comprehensive maintenance regime and a professional management approach.
Two members of the Southside Lettings Team qualified with “The CIH Letwell Residential Lettings Certificate”. Reflecting Southside Lettings commitment to embracing the challenge of increased regulation for private landlords and letting agents. The good governance and financial transparency of the housing association gives comfort to both landlords and tenants working with Southside Letting. Southside Letting is a member of SafeDeposit.
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