Information for Landlords
Leasing to EHSL for Supported Housing
EHSL leases buildings from landlords and developers in order to provide supported housing. EHSL can assist landlords in configuring residential and former commercial properties into suitable housing for people with learning disabilities and other support needs. In particular, we are seeking the following property types in Southern England and the Midlands:
- Buildings containing between 8 or more self-contained flats.
- Small HMOs for 3-6 people.
- Bungalows with 2 or more bedrooms and level access.
- Vacant care homes, nurseries and other suitable commercial properties
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.
Towns and areas that we have particular interest and demand for are:
Reading, Guildford, Woking, Barnet, Kingston, Croydon, Surrey, Enfield, Haringey, St Albans, Stevenage, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Hertfordshire, North Hertfordshire, Maidstone, Kent, Slough, Buckinghamshire, Bracknell, Wokingham, Leicester, Egham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Welwyn Hatfield, Ashford, South Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, Surrey Heath, Mole Valley, Waverley, Runnymede
EHSL is a non-profit provider of supported housing, established in 2012. As of 2023, we work with over 40 local authorities and a range of local and national care providers to provide supported housing services for over 400 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, provided by registered care providers, and where applicable, regulated by the Care Quality Commission. 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.
- 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.
EHSL’s focus is on securing properties suitable to accommodate multiple people, throughout Southern England and the Midlands.
Of particular interest are:
- Buildings containing 8 or more self-contained flats, which are accessible to transport routes and local services.
- Licensable HMOs
- Vacant care homes and commercial buildings which can be converted into multiple self-contained units.
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 5 years with a renewal available at expiry, although in some cases EHSL has been able to agree longer terms. 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 provided by EHSL. Most of EHSL’s tenants are eligible to claim Housing Benefit, which we support them to do in order that they can cover their rent.. 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 Regulator’s 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.
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.
EHSL can provide a maintenance management service on required whereby repairs are quoted for and arranged by EHSL upon approval.
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, resulting in licenses now being required for properties accommodating 5 or more people.
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 an initial 3-year lease which has been renewed
- 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 worked with Slough Borough Council to develop a new mental health scheme for 10 people in a purpose built property, under a nominations agreement between EHSL and the authority.
- In 2021, EHSL took on a portfolio of 9 properties which were leased to a care provider, ensured that they were fire compliant and adequately funded through the rents, and introduced new leases with each head landlord in order to establish separation between the provision of housing and care.
- In 2022, EHSL leased a property in Bedfordshire containing 30 flats, that had previously been an office building. EHSL and the care provider worked together to put in place an intensive housing management scheme that provided value for money and allowed the care provider to focus on care provision for the tenants.
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.
- There are ongoing disputes with neighbours.
Would you like to lease to EHSL?
Please complete the form below