West London Temporary Accommodation
Cross Borough Placement and Clearing
thAs Agreed by West London Housing Directors 28 November 2005
1.1 Each of the West London boroughs uses accommodation
leased from private sector landlords to provide temporary
accommodation to homeless households. This is done through
two main arrangements Private Sector Leasing (PSL) and
Housing Association Leasing (HALS). This agreement applies
primarily to PSL properties, but could be extended to HALS with
the consent of the housing associations involved if required.
1.2 Because of market conditions, some boroughs find it difficult to
procure enough leased accommodation to meet their needs for
TA within borough, and homeless families are frequently placed
in accommodation across London, where it can be difficult for
them to maintain links with support networks.
1.3 Other boroughs potentially have more Private sector
accommodation available to them within their boroughs than
they can currently use for TA, and so sometimes have to turn
down offers of accommodation from private sector landlords.
1.4 From a sub-regional perspective, it makes sense to make
excess units of accommodation in West London available to
boroughs, which need them. This is because:
; it makes it more possible for households who have to be housed
out of borough to maintain some links to their established
networks if they are housed in a neighbouring borough.
; it makes management and support for out of borough properties
more practical if they are closer to the placing borough.
; it makes sense to establish as many partnerships between
landlords and local authorities as possible against the possibility
of less favourable market conditions in the future.
1.5 However, despite the existing Londonwide inter-borough
temporary accommodation agreement, some boroughs have
continued to procure leased temporary accommodation outside
their borough without reference to the borough where the
accommodation is located. This can have negative effects,
; The procuring borough pays a higher price for the accommodation
than the host borough would pay, distorting the local market
; The procuring borough leases properties in areas where the host
borough has identified there is already too high a concentration of
temporary accommodation or other types of social housing which
threatens the sustainability of the local community.
1.6 All boroughs in the West London sub-region are committed to
achieving substantial reductions in temporary accommodation
and to increasing access to private sector direct lettings as an
alternative where homelessness can be prevented or ended in
this way. This means there is currently an increasing demand for
private sector properties for boroughs direct lettings schemes,
which needs to be accommodated and may take some
properties which would otherwise be offered to other boroughs
as leased accommodation through this protocol.
2.0 Aims and Objectives
2.1 To prevent unauthorized out of borough temporary
accommodation procurement by West London boroughs within
West London and the difficulties this causes.
2.2 To ensure that the markets for leased accommodation are not
distorted by out of borough procurement within the sub-region
2.3 To assist all boroughs within the sub-region to meet their needs
for temporary accommodation
2.4 To facilitate out of borough procurement within the sub-region by
West London boroughs where this can reasonably
accommodated by the host borough
2.5 To help prepare the way for possible joint procurement
arrangements within the sub-region in the future
2.6 Nevertheless, to ensure that out of borough procurement of TA
within West London is limited to manageable numbers, which do
not place an undue burden on the host borough
The West London boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow,
Hillingdon, Hounslow and Kensington & Chelsea agree:
3.1 If a borough is offered properties to lease (either directly or via
another agency) in another West London borough then, before
accepting, they will contact a named person at the host borough
to determine the locally acceptable price for the properties and
to ensure that the host borough does not have a specific
objection to the use of the properties as TA.
3.2 In agreeing a reasonable price, factors to be taken into account
should include property size and type, location, and lease type
(some leases leave more risk and responsibility with landlords
than others and so require a higher payment).
3.3 Except occasionally in emergency cases, the principle that
should apply is that landlords should not be paid more than the
local market rent, as determined by the rent officer for similar
3.4 Host boroughs should not unreasonably object to such out of
borough procurement, unless it is in an area, which they have
previously specifically designated as unsuitable for TA, and
which they would not use for TA themselves. Such designations
should be made available to all West London boroughs to avoid
3.5 Host boroughs should reply to all such enquiries from other
West London boroughs within 5 working days. If the named
person is on leave, or otherwise absent, they should make
suitable arrangements to delegate responsibility for dealing with
3.6 Boroughs seeking to procure should respect the host borough’s
3.7 If a borough has leased properties that it no longer needs for
use as Temporary Accommodation, and either does not wish to
or is unable to make use of for a direct lettings scheme, and
would otherwise be carrying voids or would wish to terminate the
lease, then before doing so it will ask the landlord or managing
agent involved if they would consider leasing the properties to
3.8 This also applies if a borough is offered new properties for use
as leased Temporary Accommodation, which it does not require
for TA, and either does not wish to or is unable to make use of
for a direct lettings scheme.
3.9 An exception to this is that boroughs are not required to offer
properties for lease to other West London boroughs if they have
serious concerns that increasing the amount of temporary
accommodation in the area where the properties are located
would increase existing problems of deprivation or anti-social
behaviour, which would prevent the host borough from
accepting the properties as TA for it’s own use.
3.10 If the landlord is willing to consider leasing to another borough,
then the host borough will offer the option of leasing the
properties to other West London boroughs. They may choose to
offer properties preferentially to one borough in the first instance
based on an identified need for properties by the preferred
borough, or because the property is located close to the
preferred borough. However, in the spirit of sub-regional working
there should be no systematic preference given to one borough
3.11 If the offer is firstly made to a single borough and is refused, or if
it is decided to offer the properties more widely in the first
instance, then the properties should be offered via named
representatives from the West London Temporary
Accommodation Group, which is a sub-group of the West
London Homelessness Group. This can be done by e-mail. The
option to lease the properties would then be offered to the first
borough to reply.
3.12 Once it has been agreed that the option to lease the properties
will be offered to a particular borough then discussion should
take place to ensure that both boroughs are agreed on the
maximum rent which can be offered, which should not be above
the level prevailing in the borough where the properties are
located at the time.
3.13 In order to facilitate this process, boroughs may from time to
time send out requests for particular types or sizes of properties
through the West London TA group.
3.14 Boroughs may wish to share sensitive information within the TA
group e.g. on prevailing rent levels. This information should not
be passed on outside the West London boroughs without
3.15 Surplus properties should only be offered to boroughs outside
the West London Sub-region after all boroughs within the sub-
region have been offered the option to lease them. Boroughs
are expected to respond to such requests within 3 working days
or be deemed to have refused the offer of a leasing option.
3.16 Boroughs may wish to mutually agree a quota of properties
which is acceptable for procurement by one borough within
3.17 Boroughs will produce information on numbers of TA properties
managed within the other boroughs within the sub-region in
advance of each sub-regional TA group meeting. The group will
monitor out of borough procurement and provide a forum for
discussion of issues arising.
3.18 Placing boroughs retain responsibility for securing settled
accommodation for people they have placed in TA out of
3.19 Boroughs agree where possible not to place very vulnerable
households in TA out of borough
3.20 Placing boroughs agree to provide support e.g. floating support
to households placed in out of borough TA, where this is
3.21 Any disputes arising from this protocol can be referred to the
West London Homelessness Co-ordinator for mediation if
necessary, and if this does not resolve the issue, can be
referred to the West London Housing Directors group.