Haringey letting agency slammed after renting out just two homes in ten months
PUBLISHED: 18:35 22 August 2016
Haringey Council has come under fire after it was revealed a letting agency it set up and funded at a cost of over £400,000 has rented out just two homes in the last ten months.
Liberal Democrat opposition councillors have attacked the Labour-run local authority over the performance of Move 51 Degrees
North, the agency established by the council as an alternative to costly private letting agencies.
The council revealed the figures last week and said the agency, which has cost £406,618 so far, is not expected to make a profit for three years.
Cllr Gail Engert, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Haringey, said: “I am sure many residents will be angry to hear that this letting agency, set-up by the Labour cabinet, has cost taxpayers nearly half a million pounds but has only let two properties.
“Local people rightly expect their council tax money to be spent on vital services and not wasted on failed projects. “Haringey residents pay one of the higher council taxes in London and that money should be spent wisely and not wasted.”
One in every three homes in Haringey is privately rented, at an average cost of £1,600 a month.
When it launched Move 51, the council said it would help protect tenants from “the scourge of rip-off fees and charges”
A spokesperson for Homes for Haringey - the company which manages Haringey’s housing stock - said: “Move 51 has two properties in management and is in the process of marketing two further properties.
“Its remit is being widened to offer incentivised assured shorthold tenancies to private landlords as a cost-effective alternative to most other temporary accommodation options available, and which will help us continue to tackle homelessness in the borough.
“The set-up and running costs are a forecast - which also set out that Move 51 was not expected to make a profit until it had been trading for a full three-year period. It was set up less than 12 months ago.”