Introducing Luton Lets Squared
12 Dec 2019
New housing agency opens its doors for business
Squared is joining forces with Luton Borough Council to help more people in need.
The company, formerly known as Luton Lets which was Luton Council’s ‘Social Letting Agency’, has now formed a joint venture with Squared, previously known as Luton Community Housing. Together the two organisations are becoming a high street agent with services covering social lets, private rented scheme lets and sales.
The agency was created to provide a route to the private rented sector for applicants who are on benefits and low incomes. Very often people in such circumstances 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. It will offer a wider range of services rarely seen elsewhere.
Its unique business model includes some attractive features for those struggling to find a property:
- tenants will not be charged for the service, making it particularly appealing for those on low or no income
- support for those who have been sleeping rough
- offering alternative accommodation before people become homeless
- targeting 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
- not making a profit from housing those threatened with homelessness
- raising property conditions, to high lettable and management standards
In order to help sustain the social letting aspect of the company, competitive fees will continue to 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. As the council seeks to tackle poverty in the town, Luton Lets Squared will have a vital role to play.“
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 property standards in Luton and expose rogue landlords who exploit tenants on low income. Luton Lets Squared will work to provide housing for all.
Luton Lets Squared is now open for business at its new offices in Belmullet House, 39 Upper George Street, LU1 2RD