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Ethical Lettings Offer a Win-Win for Local Landlords and Communities

28 February 2022

A screen shot showing the new seamoor homes webpage

Could ethical lettings help solve the local Housing Crisis? SeaMoor Lettings, the innovative South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council-run ethical lettings agency, has launched a new website to make it easier for local landlords to find out more and sign up.

It's hoped this will help more local people access private rental properties at an affordable price to alleviate the current shortage.  

SeaMoor Lettings is part of SeaMoor Homes, an ethical estate agency run by South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council.  It offers a professional management service for landlords with a very low 6% +VAT monthly management fee and other perks. This means landlords can afford to offer property at a lower monthly rent and still enjoy a healthy return on their investment.

Figures show that 32 landlords currently use the service, with 36 homes rented through SeaMoor Lettings across the South Hams and West Devon. The councils hope the new website will encourage more landlords to sign up so more local people can access properties at a below market rate. 

Aaron, a landlord who rents their property in Totnes with SeaMoor Lettings said: "I've lived in the area for 25 years and want to give something back to my community - but renting out my property also needs to stack up financially as this is part of my pension. That's why I chose SeaMoor Lettings.

"I'm proud to be part of this initiative that we know really helps those local people who are feeling most tightly squeezed at the moment - people with good jobs but who simply can't afford the current rental prices and are faced with having to move away from friends, family, school and work just so they can afford their rent.

"We've had lovely tenants and the SeaMoor team are on hand to answer questions and sort out essentials like safety certificates, which really makes life easier. The low management fee and peace of mind from perks like the 100% rent guarantee for up to two months if the property was left empty, means it's financially viable for us to set a lower monthly rent - it really is a win-win for me and the community."

Cllr Judy Pearce, South Hams District Council Executive Member for Housing said: "We're facing a huge housing crisis and we need action right now before more people are forced to move away. Big problems need innovative solutions and together with West Devon we're one of the only councils in the UK to offer an ethical lettings service to get the private rental market to deliver more affordable rental rates.

"Just like opting for ethical banking, SeaMoor Lettings gives landlords the choice to manage their property investment ethically too. Please do take a look at our new website and join our ethical lettings revolution. You'll help families and people who are not already on the housing ladder to stay living close to their schools and workplaces and help our communities to thrive."

Cllr Barry Ratcliffe, West Devon Borough Council Lead Member for Housing added: "Over the last couple of years, local rents have spiralled out of the reach of many local people including those doing some of the most essential jobs in our communities, such as care support workers. It means that some people on lower wages have to move out of the area. As a result, there is a local shortage of people available to work in these important roles, including care, retail and hospitality.

"I appeal to anyone who has a property they rent out in West Devon to get in touch, By joining us, you will be helping to make sure these local people serving their community can still afford to live here and provide us with the services we need - together we can help our communities to thrive." 

How does it work?

SeaMoor Lettings gives private sector landlords a full property management service at a low 6% +VAT monthly fee that includes extra features like a 6-week rent and deposit guarantee. Because the management fee is lower, you can offer your property at a lower monthly rent and still enjoy a healthy return on your investment. You'll get a professional, experienced service from our team.

The service includes:

  • Tenant selection, credit checks and referencing
  • Preparing tenancy agreements and associated legal documents
  • Conducting quarterly management inspections including all outdoor spaces
  • 6 week rent and damage deposit guarantee 
  • A 100% guarantee of the rent when the property is empty (maximum two months)
  • Arranging and paying for your gas, electric and energy performance certificates
  • Access to affordable finance packages for property improvements
  • Rent account management
  • A comprehensive inventory together with digital photographic evidence
  • In-house support from the resources of the Council

Landlords and anyone looking to rent a property can take a look at

There is no salary cap to be eligible to rent a property. However priority will always be given to households with lower incomes. 

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