West Lothian Council makes private letting more accessible
West Lothian Council has increased the housing options available for local people with the re-launch of the new West Lothian Home Choice website.
The new website has been developed in conjunction with several surrounding local authorities including Edinburgh, the Lothian’s and Falkirk who are part of the East hub with funding from the Scottish Government to assist in increasing the housing options available from local authorities.
The council’s Housing Needs team manages the West Lothian Home Choice website. The team works in conjunction with landlords/agents who have lets in the West Lothian area. The aim of the website it to assist in making private sector housing more accessible to people who are looking for a home in this area.
The free website aims to increase the users’ choice in the private rented market and to encourage good landlords/agents to advertise their properties. This will create a one stop shop for prospective tenants to potentially view all available private lets in the West Lothian area creating a much smoother process. The website will ensure private sector housing is more accessible to people who want to consider a private let in West Lothian.
The website includes helpful tools and links to assist both landlords/agents and private tenants throughout their journey in the private sector. Users can search by area, property type, rental amount and bedroom size.
Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul, said: “The site is managed by West Lothian Council and provides additional choices for people wishing to rent in West Lothian. It is free to use whether you are a landlord and you have a property to let or you are looking to find a property in West Lothian.
“The website is user-friendly and accessible. It is important that there are properties which meet the needs of all tenants groups available including those in full time employment, the elderly, those leaving the family home or tenants claiming assistance from local housing allowance to pay their rent.
“It is hoped that by offering free advertising to both landlords and agents this will allow potential tenants to view a wide variety of private sector housing. It will also increase tenant confidence that properties let are of a high standard.”
In conjunction with landlords/agents who have the potential to assist, West Lothian Home Choice can also liaise to help tenants by offering a guarantee in some instances for their deposit for up to 12 months to allow them to move into their tenancy without a full deposit; allowing the tenant to pay back the deposit to the Landlord/Agent over an agreed period and at an agreed amount each month.
Agents and landlords can also subscribe to a regular E-News service “Letting Matters” for up-to-date information on the services available in West Lothian.