HomeArrow NewsArrow ‘It couldn’t have worked out better’ Private landlords rent properties to St Martins

‘It couldn’t have worked out better’ Private landlords rent properties to St Martins

Private landlords in Norwich looking for a long term regular income are reaping the benefits of leasing their properties to St Martins.

St Martins is well-known for supporting people experiencing homelessness at our purpose-built hostels and residential facilities. The average stay at a hostel is around six months, and when a person is ready to move on to live more independently, there is a lack of accommodation. St Martins services don’t end when a person leaves the hostel; many people continue to receive ongoing support while they integrate into living in the community. The options for move-on accommodation is limited; private rental can be prohibitively expensive and the acute lack of social housing compounds the problem.

Head of Property at the charity, Pirry Keohane, is appealing to local landlords to consider letting their properties directly to St Martins, with the promise of guaranteed income and assistance to maintain the property to a high standard. Pirry said, “This is a win-win situation for both the people we support and the landlords we work with. It is in everybody’s interest to make the tenancies a success, and we have a hands-on approach in terms of property maintenance and compliance. Our Community Housing team have regular contact with the residents to provide the support they need.”

The landlord of a four bedroom house in Lakenham approached St Martins in 2020 with an interest in leasing their property to the charity. St Martins team members met the landlord at the property and discussed the works needed to become a compliant House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), and therefore licensable with Norwich City Council.  St Martins maintenance team along with their contractors attended to the compliance works required and painted and re-floored throughout.

The Lakenham property is a prime example of how well an arrangement between St Martins and a private landlord can work. St Martins guarantees that tax, rent and utilities are paid and that all compliance regulations are adhered to, such as emergency lighting, fire systems and gas certificates. Landlord Linda March said, “The experience has been fantastic, the process has been straightforward, I am paid on time. The property is well maintained and Pirry has been such a great help with everything.”

Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Pirry at

“My mum would have loved to see this”

Linda is a landlord who rents her property to St Martins. Here she explains why.

“I inherited the house from my mother and found it difficult to part with. My mum had lived in the house for almost 50 years and had spent so much time in the house and garden which she loved. She also did so much work to the house in terms of extending it and was proud of the additional space that she had created, including two bathrooms and 5 bedrooms.”

“She was such a generous woman, that I know, and she often said, that she would have loved it if all the rooms could be occupied! In the garden she grew all types of vegetables and flowers and was always giving the food and flowers to others. She also gave away lots of bedding such as sheets, and pillow cases, and I know that she would have loved the house to be leased to a good cause like St Martins as she was so caring and supportive to others, especially those less fortunate, especially the homeless.”

“I feel that because this house was so special to my mum and what she had created and how she loved helping others, leasing it to St Martins couldn’t have been any better for the house and has been the best outcome I could have wished for. I just wish my mum knew how her property and what she had created is still being used to help others.”

Pictured: Pirry with St Martins maintenance team.

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