There is a common misconception that only those with consistent financial problems manage to lose their house but in fact many are simply victims of circumstance and inner-city house prices, deserving of understanding and a second chance.
Several London boroughs are national hotspots for homelessness. Croydon has a repossession rate of 4.1 (644 per 1,000 households); Romford a rate of 4.4 (936 per 1000 households).
The spectre of repossession hovers over thousands more
While actual repossessions due to default on mortgage payments were agreed to have fallen in February 2013, a recent study by housing charity Shelter revealed thousands more households were teetering on the brink of losing their home. Shelter analysed possession notices, and found 215,000 homes were being regularly threatened with eviction. They are walking a tightrope they could topple off at any moment if their job security or income were jeopardised.
“These staggering figures show just how many families go through the trauma of learning that their home is at risk, every single week,” Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb told the Guardian.
“People are hearing that the economy is recovering, but we’re seeing the reality that many families across the country are still battling to keep their heads above water and keep their homes. Just one thing such as a job loss or serious illness can tip any of us into a downward spiral that puts our home at risk.”
What happens to the homeless?
The Department for Communities and Local Government issued its latest stats on statutory homelessness in March 2014. As many as 56,930 households were put up by the government in ‘temporary accommodation’, meaning a bed-and-breakfast, on 31 December 2013. This figure is 7% higher than at the same date in 2012. The statistics demonstrate that the number of applicants accepted as owed a main duty under homelessness had fallen just 1% for the year. What this seems to demonstrate is that what is intended as a temporary solution is becoming a long-term problem.
The statutory homeless are spending, in many cases, over a year living with all their worldly possessions crowded into a single room. Their rights are often disrespected; complaints are routinely ignored. Because the council pay the largest portion of their housing benefit, landlords have no inclination to treat them as you would a paying tenant. If the chest-of-drawers precariously balanced atop the wardrobe falls and breaks, even if the fault is theirs for dangerous furniture arrangement, odds are they will be living out a suitcase for the next six months before anyone gets round to replacing it.
Perhaps the B-and-B will have a washing machine; perhaps it won’t. In which case the tenant will have to lug their clothes to the laundrette every few days, and hope the service includes a tumble-dryer. If not, they will string their damp clothes up around their already over-crowded room.
At Homebridge Housing Ltd we operate by taking the most deserving social housing tenants and offer them this second chance. We guarantee our clients will treat your property with the greatest respect.
As rent guarantee specialist we understand how to expertly manage your property while bring you guaranteed rental income every month for the duration of your contract with us.
If you would like to know more about guaranteed rent schemes in London read our blog where to find out “What is a rent guarantee scheme?” and “How rent guarantee schemes could change the London lettings market.”