The Private Rented Solutions Scheme (PRS) supports households to access safe and affordable homes in the private rented sector. It also enables landlords to access prospective tenants currently registered in the Council’s waiting list who are looking for sustainable long term tenancies.
Benefits to you
- Rent Guarantee Scheme – we guarantee you the rent for the fixed term of the tenancy
- Damage Liability Scheme – we will cover costs caused by damage by a tenant in your property
- free to join – there are no fees for any of the services we provide
- we match your property with our waiting list to identify suitable tenants with no tenant introduction fees
- we organise and attend all property viewings and manage the whole contracting process for you
- free Deposit Guarantee Scheme
- free support for you and the tenant throughout the tenancy
- you retain full management of your property and make the final decision on offering any tenancy
- dedicated account manager to look after you and your property throughout the tenancy
- there is no commitment to let your property to one of our tenants and you can withdraw your property from the scheme if you find your own tenant first
In demand properties
We are looking for all sizes and types of properties in most areas across the city. Typically though, the majority of the prospective tenants on our waiting list are looking for 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed properties.
Popular areas for our tenants include Arbourthorne, Heeley, Parsons Cross, Hillsborough, Sharrow, Handsworth and Chapeltown. Properties in the following Sheffield post codes are in demand: S2, S5, S6, S7, S8, S11, S13 and S35.
We are looking for properties with rent charges that are around Local Housing Allowance rates.
Support for you and your tenant
We hope that tenancies will last beyond the initial 12 month tenancy agreement and we know a bit of help can make all the difference. We support both you and your tenant during the contracting process and on an ongoing basis throughout the tenancy.
We provide all of the contracting documents including the 12 month assured shorthold tenancy agreement and we will act as witness for both you, and your tenant. Your tenant will attend a sign up meeting at our offices and we will provide them with information on effectively managing their tenancy. If we think they will benefit from additional support, we will refer them for tenancy training.
You will be matched with an account manager from our team who will be there to support you throughout the tenancy. Your PRS account manager will make regular visits to your property throughout the tenancy (months 1, 6 and 12) to check in with your tenant and report on ongoing property condition. Your tenant will be allocated a tenancy support worker who will regularly contact them and be able to advise on benefits and signpost them to appropriate support services.
How much rent you can charge
The tenants who use our service are usually in receipt of some benefits, even when working. Rent payments for these tenants need to be around the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for the property to be affordable. LHA rates are set each year by the Government. It is unlikely that tenants would be able to afford rents that are more than 10% above the LHA rates, even if they have additional sources of funds.
How rent is paid
Where tenants are in receipt of benefits, we work with the tenant to manage their housing claim. If appropriate, we apply on your behalf for alternative payment arrangements at the start of the tenancy.
Ending the tenancy
We hope that you and your tenant have a long relationship, but if for some reason things don’t work out and the tenant doesn’t want to roll over their contract, we will help you to find your next tenant. We will undertake an end of tenancy inspection to check that the property is left empty and clean.
If there are problems that mean you want to end the tenancy early, we will provide you with support with the legal process for giving notice and ending the tenancy.
Find out more about the Private Rented Solutions Scheme
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I receive my rent?
Most of our prospective tenants are on income benefits and are eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. When we sign the tenant up for the property they will complete a Housing Benefit claim form, with help from PRS staff, which is submitted with proofs to be assessed. PRS monitor the claim every few days and once approved, it will be paid 4 weekly, NOT monthly. Therefore, you in fact get 13, 4 weekly payments in the year, and not 12 calendar month payments.
Will Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) payments be paid directly to me?
If the tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit they complete the required documents during property sign up and we submit a letter to the Housing Benefit team to get rent payments paid directly to you.
If the tenant is in receipt of Universal Credit we will get them to complete the online request for alternative payment arrangements (APA) during property sign up, and DWP will assess and make a determination.
Either way, your PRS Officer monitors the claim every few days and will be in full contact with you throughout the process.
When it’s approved, payment will be paid 4 weekly, NOT monthly, so you in fact get 13, 4 weekly payments in the year, and not 12 calendar month payments.
Will I have the final say on whether I think the potential tenant is suitable for my tenancy?
We will accompany any potential tenants to view your property and then contact you soon after to find out if you want to go ahead. You have the final say. There is no commitment until the tenancy agreement has been signed.
Who is responsible for repairs on and in the property?
You, as the Landlord are, unless you employ a managing agent. If you do employ a managing agent then they have to be accredited by the Responsible Landlords Scheme.
Do I have to use your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?
Yes. It is a standard agreement that we use across all of our Landlords.
Should I provide furniture in the property or not?
We have a demand for both furnished and unfurnished properties, so it’s your choice. You won’t receive extra rent if you provide furniture. If you do provide furniture you’re responsible for maintaining the furniture. For example if the washing machine breaks down, it’s your responsibility to repair it.
Do you pay a deposit?
We offer a deposit / bond guarantee equivalent to a calendar months rent. At the end of the tenancy, you can claim against this bond for damage or rent arrears incurred.
If the tenants are on benefits will they be good tenants?
When a customer is referred to our waiting list, the PRS team carefully consider their suitability for private rented accommodation by liaising with the Housing Officer assessing their case. If the customer has previously been a council tenant we can check for any previous concerns around anti-social behaviour or tenancy arrears. We offer all our tenants a referral to an appropriate support agency. These agencies can assist tenants with transferring utilities into their own names, offer support around budgeting and maintaining a private rented tenancy.
We complete a risk assessment with all our tenants. We do not rehouse customers who are unlikely to sustain a private rented tenancy due to substance misuse, offending or anti-social behaviour.
What happens if there is a dispute with my tenant?
We recognise that tenancies don’t always work, for various reasons. If you are in dispute with your tenant we will support you and the tenant to reach a resolution.
The majority of tenancies which we have organised work really well, and most of them continue past the initial contract period.
I don’t live in Sheffield. Is this a problem?
Quite a few of our landlords don’t actually live in Sheffield and are happy to trust us to undertake viewings and make good matches. If you are happy to provide us with two sets of keys, we will keep these securely in our office; we will retain one set for viewings and property check access and the second set to issue to your new tenant. And don’t worry, we can accept your signed tenancy agreement through the post and still complete the sign up in our office with your tenant.
What we can’t do
We can’t manage the tenancy on your behalf
There are some managing agencies in the city who may manage the property for you, at a cost.
We can’t share personal information about the tenant with you at your request
We can't give you personal information about the tenant unless they agree to this, otherwise we may be breaching the Data Protection Act. We do ask potential tenants to fill out a questionnaire to help you make an informed choice about whether to accept them as tenants.
We can’t vet the tenant or undertake extensive background checks.
We will carry out some enquiries into the tenant’s situation but this is not to vet the tenant’s suitability for your accommodation. You will be able to carry out these checks yourself, if you wish to do so.
We can’t alter the amount of Housing Benefit which can be claimed.
This is set using a specific formula, and there are a number of rules which determine how much can be paid. We can check to see how much Housing Benefit has been paid.
We can’t guarantee the behaviour of the tenant.
We may be able to offer support to the tenant, which will help them to move in. We also can offer to mediate between you and the tenant if there are any disputes. However, we are not responsible for the behaviour of the tenant.
We can’t stop the tenant from abandoning the property.
We will try to support you when you inform us of any problems but we cannot guarantee that our support or intervention will be effective.
How to register with the Private Rented Solutions Scheme
You can contact our PRS team on 0114 205 3112 if you have any questions.
If you're ready to register your interest in working with PRS to rent your property, you can do so online. There is no charge for our PRS services and you will not be committed to working with us by completing our online registration.
Once you've registered your interest online, a PRS Housing Solutions Officer will typically contact you within 1 working day to discuss the next steps. If you decide to go ahead with joining the PRS scheme, we will arrange for your property to be inspected and take photos ready for your advert to be displayed on the Property Shop website.
If you have more than one property to rent you will need to submit a separate registration form for each one.