Simon Wall from Clearsprings Ready Homes was given a warm welcome when he joined us for our final property meet of the year at our November meeting.
Clearsprings Ready Homes are an Home Office appointed accommodation provider. Simon began by explaining that he had been asked to source properties in Wrexham, this was not his normal job but as demand had increased, the property department were stretched in other areas.
Clearsprings are looking for 10+ properties in Wrexham for their asylum contract which ensures that asylum seekers are housed. At the present time the company rents just over 1,300 properties and pay out approximately £820,000 per month in rent. Clearsprings are the preferred accommodation provider which accounts for 85-90% of the company’s turnover. They are currently looking for properties which are suitable for housing families and singles in Wrexham. (Family & HMO properties)
There are 8 families at the present time who are in Cardiff who are staying in hotel accommodation which is very expensive. Clearsprings are able to offer a tenancy until the end of their current contract which is April 2019 and can guarantee rent even if the property is empty. Clearsprings are the tenant of the property and look after any maintenance issues, the landlord is still responsible for certain repairs for example if the gas central heating broke down this would be the landlord’s responsibility.
Some asylum seekers are currently housed in the Wrexham area these are Chinese, Afghani, Syrian and African but to name a few. Most of them are families with a lot of them being single parent families. When they talk about asylum seekers, this means that they have come into the country and have applied for asylum and the Home Office have said they have got a case; they are then dispersed to towns & cities like Wrexham, whilst there cases are being processed. Once they have been granted leave to remain they will move on into the mainstream housing market.
There is a local manager in each town/city where the asylum seekers are located; they visit the property at least once per month. In addition Clearsprings have their own furnishings department who supply furnishing and white goods as well as having their own cleaning company. They also utilise local tradesmen. Should you agree a tenancy with Clearsrpings, the asylum seekers will live in your property and you will not know if a different family moves in. If they obtain leave to remain then they then become the responsibility of the Local Authority who then have a duty to house them. If they don’t get leave to remain, they have to leave the UK.
There are currently 3 HMO’s (House of Multiple Occupancy) in Wrexham which are let to Clearsprings and which house asylum seekers. They are looking for anything from HMO’s to one bed flats/houses upwards. As a company they get paid per person per night by the Home Office. So far Simon explained that he has managed to find 3 properties but could easily take on the tenancies for a further 10 properties. The local manager in Wrexham is called Jess. When a landlord decides to grant a tenancy to Clearsprings, it enables them to take a step back a little bit; they can however, still visit their property should they so wish.
Simon concluded by saying that as a company they do not want properties which have prepayment meters and ask the landlord to get them changed swapped back. In relation to the rent, they like to pay the LHA (Local Housing Allowance) rate or just under.
Simon was asked the following questions following on from his talk:-
Q. Do Clearsprings pay a deposit ?
A. No they do not. They will however return the property to the landlord in the same condition it was in when they rented it, less fair wear and tear.
Q. How does the Right to Rent affect the agreement ?
A. It doesn’t because the landlord’s agreement is with the company and not the asylum seekers themselves.
Q. Is there the possibility of having rent reviews when you agree a tenancy with Clearsprings ?
A. There is no set mechanism for a rent review but there is nothing to stop the landlord going back to the company and asking.
Q. Who is responsible for insurance ?
A. Insurance on the building is covered by the landlord.
If you would like any further information or if you would be interesting in letting your property to Clearsprings then please contact Simon by one of the methods below.
Phone:- 07966 664017