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Renting out your affordable home

What you need to know

In some circumstances and in consultation with the Council you may rent-out your affordable home for a temporary period. Permission is usually required from the Council to do this.

It is strictly prohibited under the terms of a Section 106 agreement to let out your affordable home for holiday use. (For example on AirBnB or any other holiday letting platform.) Any reports of affordable homes being let for holiday use will be referred to our Planning Enforcement Team. You may be subject to legal action.

The Council will charge a Section 106 eligibility assessment fee of £186. This is to recover our costs for assessing the eligibility of your proposed tenant.

We usually give permission for a 12 months period, subject to review. Unless your Section 106 agreement allows, we will not usually give permission for permanent letting. We would expect you to market your property for sale should you be unable to occupy it yourself for a longer period. This is to ensure that affordable housing designated for ownership remains in supply.

Many affordable homes are subject to a s106 agreement. This is a legal agreement which usually specifies who would qualify to rent your home, and at what price. Before doing anything else, you should check these requirements in your s106 agreement. You should also check with your mortgage lender that they will also give you permission to let your property. For more about this, please see Understanding your s106 Agreement. In some cases the Council may have nomination rights. This means that we have the right to nominate a tenant using the Homechoice register.

Finding a tenant

Renting the property out yourself or through a Letting Agent

If the Council has nomination rights on your property, we may nominate a potential tenant. We may choose to do this using our Homechoice register.

Where the Council:

  • do not have nomination rights
  • waive these rights

we will usually require you to advertise your property through a local lettings agency and using the main online advertising sites. These include

  • Rightmove
  • Zoopla
  • OpenRent

This is to ensure that local people in housing need are given a chance to apply.

View the OpenRent website

Either way, the requirements of your s106 legal agreement still need to be met. Any potential tenant found by you, or by your letting agent, needs to contact Cornwall Council. This is so that they can check that the person is eligible to rent under the terms of your s106 agreement. Cornwall Council will ask the potential tenant to fill in an eligibility form. They will need to return this to us with evidence of how they meet the criteria. The criteria usually includes:

  • local connection
  • housing need and
  • cannot afford to buy a property on the open market

Obtaining a rental valuation

You will normally need to provide a formal open market rental valuation. This must be provided by a qualified RICS valuer. A list of local RICS valuers can be found here.

Costs and fees

You may have to pay a chartered surveyor for a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) open market rental valuation. You may also need to pay management fees to the company that you choose to let your property through. This depends on the level of service they are providing to you.

You will have to pay the Council a Section 106 eligibility assessment fee of £163. This is to cover the Council's cost in assessing the eligibility if your proposed tenant. This fee will be required before our written permission to let your property is granted.

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) will need to be drawn up between yourself and your tenants. A copy will need to be provided to the Council. A lettings agency should be able to provide this to you as part of their services.

What you need to do

What Cornwall Council will do

Cornwall Council will:

  • calculate and agree the rent level. This is usually set at the Local Housing Allowance for the area or 80% of the full market rent. Whichever is the lower amount
  • ensure that you are advertising the property extensively in the primary local area, working with your appointed agent
  • ensure that the tenant you find qualifies to occupy your property. Cornwall Council will assess their eligibility and provide written authority to you

Renting-out a Shared ownership (part rent-part buy) property

Shared Ownership homes are usually provided by housing associations. If you want to rent-out your property, you should go directly to the housing association to whom you pay your rent. They will be able to advise you on the restrictions and what you are, or are not able to do.

Other things to consider

You will need to ensure that your mortgage lender and home insurance company give their authorisation for you to rent your property out.

Further information

You can view this information in our bite-size guide to renting out your affordable home.

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