Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Providing for Housing Choices Market and Affordable Housing Mix Policy 8 - Market and affordable housing mix [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP1088
Respondent Tetlow King Planning (Planning… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 27 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

Rentplus properties are leased to and managed by Rentplus’ housing association partners. They

provide all the full range of housing management services for the Rentplus residents, including full

repair and maintenance of the properties.

The residents have security of tenure through five-year renewable Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

agreements with our housing association partner; this gives them the same rights and

responsibilities as any other housing association tenant.

Residents have the opportunity to buy their home at either 5, 10, 15, or 20 years, and know when

they sign their AST when their personal opportunity will be. Detailed financial assessment is

undertaken at the application stage which is used to determine when a resident is likely to be in a

position to buy their home; their current income, future increases, any household debt/savings and

readiness to purchase are used to assess this.

Residents are supported to purchase their home at the relevant time, and are signposted to

appropriate mortgage advice. Rentplus provides a 10% gifted cash deposit for each tenant to add to

their own savings which is calculated on the open market value of the property at the point of


Rentplus tenants all work either full- or part-time in a wide variety of occupations including key

workers, NHS/healthcare, education, retail, skilled trades, manufacturing, catering, in training, exarmed forces, and self-employed. Some have some savings but insufficient to access shared

ownership or Help to Buy; some have debts which the rental period will allow them to clear and

build a good credit history in preparation for getting a mortgage. For many, their current

employment status and salaries would not allow them to access homeownership except through


We work in partnership with local authorities to agree scheme specific local lettings plans to ensure

that the allocation of Rentplus homes assists the local authority to meet their housing

responsibilities including housing people from the waiting list, enabling local people to stay in their

communities and to support inward investment and local employment.

1. Palmerston Heights, Plymouth

The first Rentplus scheme is at Persimmon’s Palmerston Heights development in Plymouth.

There are 19 Rentplus homes, all of which are 2 and 3 bedroom houses. The first residents

moved into the Rentplus homes in October 2016. Tamar Housing also procured six social rented

homes on the same estate, enabling them to improve the cost effectiveness of services to their


Residents for the properties available for 5 years were taken from the help-to-buy waiting list.

All had a local connection to Plymouth, were first time buyers with earnings under the shared

ownership salary threshold.

The remaining homes, available for 10, 15 or 20 years, were allocated via Devon HomeChoice.

The properties attracted huge interest with over 200 bids received in less than 24 hours.

14 households were accepted from the choice based lettings system, a breakdown of the needs

bands are as follows:

The residents work a wide variety of jobs including retail (3), healthcare (3), manufacturing (8),

administration roles (3), skilled trades including trainees (3), armed service (1) and

domestic/catering (2). One household has an IVA whilst a further has a CCJ – both have been

allocated homes with a 10 year purchase option, giving them ample time to clear their debts

and be ready to apply for a mortgage with a good credit history.

The age range of the residents is from 25 to 47 years old. Of the 17 households, 9 do not

currently have any savings and the remainder have savings of between £2,000 and £7,000.

When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £160,000 and

£250,000; initial rents ranged between £122.70 and £161.54 per week.

2. Corelli estate, Sherborne, Dorset

The first residents moved into the Rentplus homes at Persimmon’s Corelli estate in Sherborne in

March 2016. Occupation was phased, with the last residents moving into their homes in August


There are a total of 33 Rentplus homes at this development, comprising:

 14 x 3 bed houses

 13 x 2 bed houses

 5 x 2 bed coach houses

 1 x 4 bed house

There is a mix of families, couples, single parent families and single people in the properties.

All residents are working, either full-time, part-time or self-employed in a variety of roles across

healthcare, education, hospitality/catering, construction, factories, retail transport, engineering,

clerical, farmer, childcare, automotive.

Incomes range from £20,000 up to £65,000 at the top end; the majority of household income is

in the median range of £25,000 – 35,000.

The 33 households moved out of the following type of housing:

When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £185,000 and

£335,000; initial rents ranged between £120.00 and £184.62 per week.

3. Moorgate, Lechlade

Lagan Homes, an SME builder, developed the Moorgate scheme of 19 stone-built homes in

Lechlade-on-Thames in the Cotswolds. Rentplus has six properties comprising 2 x 2 bedroom

homes, 3 x 3 bedroom homes and 1 x 4 bedroom home.

Our housing association partner, GreenSquare, invited applications for the homes using the

Gloucestershire Homeseekers Choice-Based Lettings scheme. Four residents were allocated their

homes through the CBL scheme; the remaining two were sourced through separate advertising.

The first residents moved into their homes in August 2016. All the households are couples with

children; their age range is from 32 – 48 years old; the 4 bedroom home has been allocated the

20 year purchase option.

Gross incomes range from £25,000 to £61,000 per annum; two residents are self-employed

whilst others are employed in the care sector, public sector and engineering. One household has

a cleared CCJ and they are using the Rentplus rental period to build their credit history in

advance of buying their home.

When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £250,000 and

£335,000; initial rents ranged between £146.19 and £197.71 per week.

4. Flanders Close, Bicester

The first Rentplus scheme in Oxfordshire is Flanders Close, part of Mulberry Homes Stratton Park

development in Bicester. This is also our first flatted scheme.

The Rentplus homes comprise 10 x 2 bedroom flats in a three-storey building; 60 expressions of

interest were received when the flats were first advertised.

Our housing association partner is Harrow Churches Housing Association (HCHA). Cherwell

District Council identified suitable households from their waiting list and passed their details to

HCHA to allocate the properties to applicants based on their assessment of their circumstances.

The residents’ ages range from 23 to 52 years old; two are self-employed with the remainder

working in a range of occupations from the prison service, forestry service, social care, retail,

logistics and hospitality. Incomes range from £13,320 to 52,200 per annum.

One tenant is disabled and ex-forces; another has learning difficulties whose his parents have

established a trust fund for him which will purchase the property for him in five years’ time. The

Rentplus home gives him independence and a secure future and gives his parents peace of mind.

When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £220,000 and

£230,500; initial rents were £157.98 per week.

5. Saxon Fields, Cullompton

Rentplus has 20 homes on the Barratt Homes Saxon Fields development in Cullompton. The first

ten residents moved in to their new homes in August 2017; future phases will be completed

during 2018.

The 20 homes comprise 11 x two bed houses & 9 x three bed houses and are managed by our

housing association partner Cornerstone.

Mid-Devon District Council requested that Cornerstone write to all 1500 applicants on their

Home Choice list rather than inviting applications through the on-line system. In total, 136

expressions of interest were received for the 20 homes and 45 applications for the first 10

homes. Of these, the majority have moved from private rented homes, with seven applicants

registered on Devon Home Choice.

The residents are aged between 26 and 38 years old and are employed working in a diverse

range of occupations, including engineering, health & social care, NHS, construction, highways,

catering and delivery. Their incomes range from £17,300 to £37,000, some have debt and all

have savings. When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £170,000 and £210,000; initial rents ranged between £120.00 and £143.08 per week.

Knighton Rd, Wembury

Working with another local developer - J&M Homes Ltd - with a history of building smaller high

quality homes, Rentplus has six properties on this small development in the South Hams district

in Devon. Tamar Housing is the Rentplus partner housing association.

The six Rentplus homes comprise 2 x 1 bed flats and 4 x 2 bed houses. The residents moved in

during July 2017 and all were allocated their homes via Devon HomeChoice.

One resident is self-employed, the remained are in full-time employment in a variety of

occupations including from nursery nurse, NHS, double glazing and marine engineering. Their

age ranges is from 20 – 53 years old and their incomes range from £12,000 to £24,000, reflecting

the smaller size of these properties.

When the properties were purchased by Rentplus, values ranged between £135,000 and

£190,000; initial rents ranged between £94.40 and £122.70 per week.

The full document is attached