Sussex

Hastings Borough Council sets up own lettings agency

A council in Sussex has decided to set up its own lettings agency.

Hastings Borough Council will lease up to 100 homes from property owners.

The authority said private sector rented accommodation in Hastings had become "a real problem for local people".

Council leader Jeremy Birch said: "Many low-income households have said how difficult it is to get suitable accommodation because of the level of fees and deposits."

'Future years'

He said there was a reluctance by some landlords to let to people on housing benefits.

The scheme would see the the council become the landlord and responsible for paying a leasing fee to the owner. It would also manage the property.

Mr Birch said the scheme would start in April.

He added: "If the scheme is as successful as we hope and think it will be, we will look at increasing the number of properties we let in future years."

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