Guide on how to help tenants struggling to manage their tenancy

Over the last two years Shelter Scotland has run a pilot project called “Letting Agent Plus” with funding from the Oak Foundation. The project engaged a group of 12 letting agents and worked with them to increase capacity and confidence in helping tenants who got into or were at risk of getting into difficulty. 

The pilot has now come to an end but an independent evaluation of the work concluded that there were many merits in the Letting Agent Plus approach. Shelter Scotland has therefore distilled the main lessons of the project into a brief guide which will be of benefit to landlords as well as letting agents.

The guide, which is endorsed by SAL’s Council of Letting Agents, can be found here. The guide goes through common scenarios such as rent arrears, repairs disputes and anti-social behaviour. Many of the pointers are simply good management practice and easily absorbed within day to day agent business and include:

  • Early communication of tenancy expectations at sign-up stage
  • Regular and appropriate contact and being easy to get hold of
  • Basic affordability checks
  • Good understanding of other services available: For example, benefits help, debt advice, housing support.