Housing company bringing innovative approach to tenant participation.

Weslo Housing Management, one of the leading providers of housing and property services in central Scotland, is pioneering tenant engagement in the private rented sector.

The Registered Social Landlord, through its subsidiary organisation Weslo Property Management has developed a tenant participation group, the first of its kind to operate in the private rented sector in Scotland. Last month, Ashley Millan, Head of Private Rented Services for the company, hosted its sixth tenant participation group meeting at which a chair was appointed.

John Douglas, long-standing private tenant, has taken on the new role. Potential candidates for the role were considered internally and whittled down to two tenant members. The remainder of the group were asked to cast votes in order to appoint the new chair.

Following his appointment, John Douglas said: “I’m excited and proud to have been appointed as the Chair of the Tenant Participation Group. So far, we have a great group of people involved and there is a real sense of community spirit amongst the tenants. I like that as a group we are able to share best practice and influence standards in the PRS. The recent consultation on landlord registration was of particular interest and we were satisfied to have been able to have our say on that particular matter”.

The tenant group, which meets quarterly, was initiated in March last year. Tenant members consult on a range of topics such as housing policy, property condition, service and tenant scrutiny. In addition, the group recently submitted its first response to a Scottish Government consultation.

“It is imperative that WPM continues to offer high levels of customer service and ensures our products meet the demands of the country’s private renters”

Ashley Millan

Ashley Millan, said: “Delivering a high quality, legally compliant service to both landlords and tenants, utilising the regulatory skills of the social housing sector, has always been Weslo’s driving force behind the introduction and continued growth of organisation’s private sector subsidiary, Weslo Property Management.”

Weslo Property Management, a specialist in its field, also offers a range of quality properties and associated services to private landlords and property owners providing a flexible solution to meet the increasing demand for quality rental properties.

Tenant engagement is relatively unusual in the private rented sector and unlike its parent company there is no legal obligation for Weslo Property Management, as a private sector landlord and agent, to engage with tenants on areas such as tenant scrutiny.

The company’s objective initially was to mirror, albeit on a smaller scale, the parent company’s tenant participation strategy. However, the group has evolved and is now operating as a community anchor, sharing best practice and working on improving services within the sector.

“Through tenant participation we’ve found that tenants are attracted to the subsidiary’s connection to an established Registered Social Landlord and welcome the practices in which we have adopted,” said Ashley.

“As the private sector continues to grow it is expected that nearly six million households will rent privately by 2021. It is imperative that Weslo Property Management continues to offer high levels of customer service and ensures that our rental products continue to meet the needs and demands of the country’s private renters.”