Tenant Cashback set to reward house proud council tenants
- Published on Thursday, 07 April 2011 15:31
- Posted by Scott Buckler
Housing Minister Grant Shapps today offered tenants a Cashback deal worth billions to take control of their own homes(7th April)
Launching Tenant Cashback, Mr Shapps said there are millions of social housing tenants who take great pride in looking after their homes - and that he thinks "it's about time we make it worthwhile for many more tenants to show this kind of responsibility".
Social housing landlords responsible for England's more than 4 million social homes spend an average of £1000 per property annually on repairs - maintenance that tenants could, very often, do themselves, saving landlords money in the process.
Tenant Cashback will allow residents to take more control of their repairs budgets for their homes, for example carry out their own DIY, or commission it locally and pocket any savings made. Cash they could use however they want - for example, towards a deposit on their own house.
With maintenance and repair costing £4billion a year, the move could see a bonanza for small businesses - local painters, plumbers or carpenters - as more of the money is spent locally.
Community groups will also be able to take on the repairs on a particular street or neighbourhood, helping out those who cannot take on the responsibility themselves. Tenants will be able to pool their resources, creating a 'Community Cashback' account which could be used to fund improvements to the local area for the benefit of all residents.
The Government wants all landlords to offer their tenants the chance to manage more of their repairs budgets - and will consult on bringing forward changes to regulations to give all tenants the option to request it from their landlord.
But no tenant will be obliged to take on any more responsibility than they choose and the scheme won't place any new cap on maintenance budgets.
Greater involvement of tenants can only be a good thing for landlords too - who look to benefit from cutting out routine tasks that cost them a lot in administrative time and money. Good landlords also see the benefits from encouraging more tenants to stand on their own two feet, and to work closely with their neighbours and wider community.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:
"Social housing should act as a springboard to help people make better lives for themselves. When residents take pride in their homes it saves their landlords cash, so I think it's right that tenants should benefit too.
"Tenant Cashback will do just that, giving house-proud residents more control over looking after their own homes. Doing your own DIY or choosing a local handyman to do the work - will allow tenants to pocket any savings they make.
"And if house proud tenants drive down the total cost of maintenance then this could lead to tenants receiving cheques in the post worth thousands of pounds, for them to use however they wish."