Information for Property Owners
Leasing to EHSL
EHSL leases buildings from property owners, and makes the accommodation available as supported housing for people with support needs. In addition, EHSL works with property developers to re-configure existing properties into multiple self-contained units, with communal spaces. In particular, we are seeking the following property types in Southern England:
- Detached 2-bedroom bungalows, in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, and Kent.
- Buildings containing between 4 and 16 one-bedroom self-contained flats, in London and surrounding counties. Of particular interest are Hertfordshire and Surrey
- Small HMOs for 4-6 people.
- Disused care homes which can be converted into multiple self-contained units.
Regretfully, we are currently unable to assist with properties in the north of England.
Some common questions are answered below.
If you wish to discuss leasing your property to EHSL, please call us on 0300 200 4100, or complete the form at the bottom of the page. It would assist us to receive information on the property type, location and anticipated rent.
EHSL is a non-profit provider of supported housing, established in 2012. As of April, we work with over 30 local authorities and a select number of well-established care providers to provide supported housing solutions for over 220 people with various support needs, including learning disability, autism, physical disability, acquired brain injury and mental illness.
Supported Housing is a type of housing for people who need support to live independently. Tenants in supported housing are provided with care, support and supervision which is funded by local authorities and provided by Care Quality Commission registered care providers. EHSL charges rent to its tenants, which is generally funded via Housing Benefit under rules relating to supported housing. Rents will only be covered by Housing Benefit where the local authority agrees that the rent is at a reasonable level for the accommodation provided, and that the support provided by EHSL is at a more than minimal level.
Supported Housing provides accommodation to people who have a learning disability or another need for support, but for whom a care home would be inappropriate because the level of care provided would be much higher than is needed. Tenants in supported housing are provided with support to live independently, typically consisting of help with cooking, cleaning, budgeting, shopping, accessing employment, education and socialisation opportunities, and managing correspondence and finances.
- Rents are paid directly by EHSL under a corporate lease.
- Rent is paid regardless of occupancy.
- High renewal rates, enabling a long-term arrangement.
- No letting agency fees or commission.
- EHSL manages all incoming repairs and maintenance to ensure that the only repairs referred to the landlord are those that the landlord is responsible for under the terms of the agreement.
- Tenants are provided with a high level of support to ensure that they adhere to the terms of their tenancy agreement.
- EHSL will ensure that the property is returned in same condition it was at the start of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excluded.
The most common types of properties we offer are small shared houses for up to 6 people, and single or dual occupancy flats, bungalows and houses. Locations vary depending on demand and the local authorities that EHSL is engaged with, the majority of which are in Southern England. Of particular interest are:
- Bungalows with wet-rooms or wheelchair accessibility, which are compliant with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
- Licensed HMOs with multiple bedsits.
- Detached bungalows with 2-3 bedrooms, in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, and Kent.
- Buildings in London and surrounding counties, containing between 4 and 16 one-bedroom self-contained flats which are accessible to transport routes and local services.
- Disused care homes which can be converted into multiple self-contained units.
- Licensed HMOs in North and North-West London
EHSL is happy to work with landlords who wish to purchase or develop property specifically to lease to EHSL.
EHSL requires the following information to consider a property:
- Asking rent
- Intended lease length.
Once the property has been viewed and the prospective tenants, social workers, care provider, property owner and/or other stakeholders are happy with the arrangements, EHSL will seek to enter into a lease.
Each lease typically runs for an initial period of 3-5 years with a renewal available at expiry, although in some cases EHSL has been able to agree longer terms, and renewal options. We recognise that flexibility is often required so we try to understand the landlord’s longer-term intentions prior to entering into a lease. Sometimes a 1 or 2-year lease may be taken where a property will accommodate one person or additional flexibility is required. Landlords who have let to EHSL tend to own a small portfolio of investment properties, leasing one or more to EHSL.
EHSL pays the rent monthly to the landlord’s chosen bank account, via standing order. EHSL collects rent from its own tenants which covers EHSL’s costs, which includes the rent payable to the head landlord and the cost of the services required from EHSL. Most of EHSL’s tenants are eligible to claim Housing Benefit, which we support them to do in order to cover the rent we charge to them. We liaise closely with Housing Benefit departments to ensure that the rent we charge to our tenants is covered sufficiently by each tenant’s Housing Benefit entitlement.
EHSL pays a rent that is reflective of rents charged locally for the same size and type of accommodation. To calculate a rent we will make comparisons to local rental data including the Office for National Statistics, the Statistical Data Return, local rental knowledge, and red book valuations. Rents may be revised periodically to reflect changing market conditions, and are otherwise reviewed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index.
Supported Housing can be offered in properties that would otherwise be let in the private sector to single tenants, families, or groups of sharers. As such, major adaptations are not generally required. In some cases, a tenant may need minor adaptations such as grab-rails in the bathroom, or a ramp or handrail to the front door. EHSL will ask for permission to make adaptations if they are required.
Properties tend to require adaptations to ensure fire safety for its tenant(s), usually in the form of fire doors on risk rooms, comprehensive fire alarm coverage, emergency lighting, Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMVs) and the installation of thumb turn locks that allow the property to be exited without a key. A fire risk assessment is prepared and reviewed annually, and alarms and emergency lighting are serviced by engineers in line with manufacturers guidelines.
If major adaptations are required, EHSL will seek a Disabled Facilities Grant.
Maintenance obligations are the same as with any other private let, with the landlord responsible for covering the repairing obligations under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which places the following obligations on the landlord:
(a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),
(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and
(c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.
EHSL liaises with landlords and letting agents to ensure that works are completed within an appropriate timescale. In emergency situations such as a water leak, loss of power, or heating breakdown, EHSL’s 24/7 emergency maintenance contractor will be arranged to attend to make safe and manage the situation. They generally attend within 4 hours.
Planning permission is not generally required, although some local authorities have implemented Article 4 Directions which remove permitted development rights in defined areas. In these instances planning permission may be required for accommodation which is moving from the C3 use class (Residential dwellings) into the C4 (Houses in Multiple Occupation) or Sui Generis classes.
The C3(b) use class allows up to 6 people to live together as a single household and receive care, and there are permitted development rights to change the use of a dwelling between the C3 and C3(b) use classes.
EHSL will establish whether planning permission is required and make an application to the local authority if required.
The law surrounding the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) changed in October 2018, meaning that where a property houses 5 or more people a licence is required from the local authority.
A number of local authorities have also introduced selective and additional licensing schemes which require a license to be applied for in other circumstances – typically for houses in multiple occupation which accommodate fewer than 5 people, or for other private lets.
EHSL will apply for a license where one is required.
EHSL requires the property to be handed over with a valid Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report. Properties must be free from asbestos.
EHSL will conduct a risk assessment using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, with any issues identified being report to the landlord for resolution. Any furniture provided must comply with the Furniture Regulations 1998.
EHSL can arrange these safety inspections on your behalf if you wish. Other risks are assessed when the property is being secured in order that they are addressed prior to tenants moving in.
- In 2014 EHSL was asked to set up a shared accommodation provision for 6 clients of a care home which was closing down due to mismanagement. EHSL arranged for a 7-bedroom house in Woking to be viewed by the social care commissioner and clients, and then liaised with Housing Benefit to ensure the costs were recovered via the rent. EHSL secured the property on a 3-year lease, and renewed for another three years when the initial term expired in 2017.
- In 2016, EHSL was approached by a care provider who required a 2-bedroom flat for a person they had assessed as requiring 24/7 care, for whom funding had been obtained for a support package. EHSL approached a letting agent and arranged for the prospective tenant to view several properties. EHSL was able to secure the preferred property and has offered it at a rent approved by the local authority.
- In 2017 EHSL secured a 5-year lease on a property in Hertfordshire and adapted it to be able to offer 4 large double bedrooms to people who require 24/7 care.
- In 2018, EHSL was approached by a local authority because a care home was being closed down. Due to mobility issues, the occupants required a bungalow. EHSL identified a suitable property and entered into a three-year lease.
- In 2019 EHSL secured 3 large HMOs from a care provider in North London who wished to separate the provision of housing and care for their service users.
- In 2020, EHSL was approached to secure a 2-bedroom property for somebody who needed to move from a care home which was closing down. EHSL secured a house on a three year lease and offered the accommodation at a level agreed with the local authority.
Please call us on 0300 200 4100, or complete the form below. Please provide the following:
- Full address(es) of property being referred
- Asking rent
- Description of property (i.e. detached house with 5 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, shared kitchen and communal lounge)
EHSL can offer a full management service by arranging all works required, and recharging the landlord for works which they are responsible for. Please contact us to discuss further.
Properties may not be accepted for any of the following reasons:
- The rent requested for the property is higher than the market rate.
- There is an oversupply or lack of local demand for the type of property offered,
- The local authority does not support the scheme.
- The property is located in an area where EHSL does not have a relationship with the local authority or with appropriate care providers.
- The type of property is not suitable to meet the needs of the proposed occupants
- Room sizes or unit sizes are too small.
- The property lacks sufficient communal facilities.
- The condition of the property is unsuitable.
- The property requires substantial improvements or modernising which the landlord does not wish to carry out.
- There is a fundamental health and safety issue at the property that cannot be resolved.
- The landlord will not consent to adaptations.
- The cost of adaptations is too great.
- The property is too large for the client group.
- The landlord will not agree to the required lease terms and duration.
- The property’s location is unsuitable because it is not close to local facilities or transport routes.
- The local authority will not grant planning permission for change of use (if it is required).
- The mortgagee will not consent to the lease.
Would you like to lease to EHSL?
Please complete the form below