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Private Sector Leasing

Sunderland City Council is pleased to offer a Private Sector leasing scheme to property owners within the city. We have 2 models that could work for you, take a look at the information below and then get in touch to discuss and to arrange an inspection.

The basics

Private Sector Leasing (PSL) takes many forms but in essence you lease your property to the council for a fixed period of time and we then manage the property as part of our Council Housing Service.

At the end of the lease you get the property back with fair wear and tear, reflecting the time that's its been tenanted for. During the lease term you get a guaranteed income, even if we can't find a tenant or they don't pay us rent. You will be responsible for general maintenance, for example a leaking roof, and we will make good any tenant damage.

What are the advantages of PSL?

  • You get a guaranteed income
  • You don't have any housing management, rent collection or deposit management
  • We include a budget for annual safety checks and some minor works
  • We source and manage the tenant

What are we looking for?

Sunderland City Council are looking for properties that we can let to people on our waiting list. Demand varies throughout the City so there may be locations that from time to time we wouldn't take properties in depending on how many we have in PSL in each area, any regeneration activity and the demand at the time.

As our waiting list customers will normally be on lower incomes, properties that would normally achieve Local Housing Allowance rates are of real interest.

We have a need for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom houses, flats and also bungalows. The condition of the property isn't so important as there are 2 types of PSL that can accommodate properties that are ready to let and properties that need some improvement works before they are ready to let.

The property doesn't have to have been let before but we must be able to take a lease without vacant possession so if you have an existing tenant then we are unlikely to be able to complete a PSL unless the tenant intends to move out.

Properties that need no work to let them out

If your property is ready to let or needs only a small amount of work doing to it and you can pay for this work yourself then we have a Standard Private Sector Lease that could be right for you. The property needs to meet our accreditation standard and we would lease this from you for a period of 5 years. During this time you would get a guaranteed income each month and we would let the property.

We will give the property back to you at the end of the lease with fair wear and tear. If our tenant damages the property then we will put this right, we will cover all bills, void and rent loss that we may incur during the lease term. We will ensure that gas and electrical safety is maintained throughout the term of the lease but as the property owner you will be responsible for general repairs and maintenance.

For example, we will complete annual CP12 and boiler servicing but if there is a boiler fault then this would be up to you to resolve. You could do this yourself or we could do this for you but your income would reduce to cover the cost. You should ensure that the property has appropriate buildings insurance and that our interest is noted with your insurer and mortgage provider, if you have a loan secured against the property. Full details will be contained within the lease.

Properties that need work to let them out

If your property has been empty for over 4 months and requires work to get it to a lettable condition that costs over £1,500 then Lease & Repair could help you. If the property meets these requirements then we could access grant from Homes England to pay for some of the work to improve your property.

The lease term is much longer when works are completed - normally 10 years or even more so you need to be happy with this scenario. We will agree the improvement works with you before the lease starts, complete the works using our own contractors to the agreed specification and will return the property to you with fair wear and tear and vacant possession at the end of the lease term.

As with the standard lease you will still be responsible for the general building maintenance and insurance.

How much will get paid?

This will depend on a number of factors. First is the rental value of the property. This will vary from home to home and we will give you an idea of what rent we will be charging tenants as part of the assessment. In general we will base our assessment on Local Housing Allowance rates. From this rental value we need to cover our own costs which includes the annual cost of gas safety checks and servicing up to £400, but not repairs and maintenance.

If you approve us to complete any works on your behalf the cost would be deducted from your next monthly income. Where works are completed at the start of the tenancy through Lease & Repair your monthly income will also be reduced to pay of the works costs over the term of the lease, as the variables of works cost and lease term are wide it's not possible for us to give you an example here but we would provide you with this when assessing your property.

An example of standard PSL expected income:

Property Type

LHA Rate per month

Lease payment to owner

2 bed house



3 bed house



What the next steps?

If you complete the online application form we will get in contact with you to arrange to inspect your property. We will then assess if its suitable for a Private Sector Lease or Lease and Repair.

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