North Lanarkshire Council continues to buy homes for rent
North Lanarkshire Council has continued to buy properties for rent throughout the coronavirus lockdown.
The council had to put on hold certain parts of its open market purchase scheme earlier this year in accordance with Scottish Government guidance and survey work had to be stopped.
With new working practices now being implemented, the scheme is fully operational again and would-be sellers are being encouraged to contact the council.
Catriona Arbuckle, development officer, explained: “Prior to lockdown in March, our surveyors were carrying out on average 30 surveys a month, but this had to stop in line with Government guidelines. However during this period, we have continued to receive applications and we have been busy identifying potential properties for purchase.
“Our surveyors have put in place rigorous new working practices to adhere to all new Scottish Government safety guidance and we are pleased to be carrying out surveys once again. We have also produced a leaflet with information on these new working practices for home owners and estate agents.
“We have manage to start the purchase process straight away on a number of suitable properties and we remain optimistic we can achieve our target of 150 purchases this financial year. This will help provide more homes for rent for people in the communities they want to live in.”
The main criteria for the purchase of homes on the open market is:
- There is demand for the type and size of property in that area
- The combined cost of buying the property and bringing it up to letting standards would represent value for money to the council
- Where the purchase of a property will enable the council to take complete, or majority, ownership of blocks of flats making communal repairs much easier to complete
- Homes purchased would meet the particular needs of households not currently available in the council stock, e.g. homes suitable for people with disabilities
The open market scheme will assist the council in delivering 5,000 additional homes for rent by 2035.