A local authority in Hampshire is appealing to letting agents and private tenants to join its Private Sector Lease Scheme, which promises a guaranteed rental income even if the property is void.

New Forest district council’s scheme involves the authority renting properties from private landlords and then renting them to people in need of accommodation.

The council says this means the landlords get a fixed term lease, guaranteed monthly rental income for the whole of the lease period - even if the property is void for some of the time.

In addition there will be no management fee for letting their property in what the council pledges to be “hassle free property management.”

The owner or agent has guaranteed vacant possession of the property in a good state of repair and decoration at the end of the lease.

A council spokeswoman said: "Housing is very much in demand and that is why one of the ways we assist households is to secure private sector properties.

“We are looking to increase these properties and would like to ask anyone who owns a property to consider joining the private sector leasing scheme.

“We will look at all properties - flats, houses, bungalows - from one bed through to four and five beds: this will be dependent on need.

“Generally our greatest need is two and three bed properties but we are happy to look at all viable options.

“Properties that are part of the scheme have to meet a strict checklist to show they are habitable and of a good quality and the leases offered to landlords are up to three years.”

There are currently 110 private properties being rented in this way by the council.

Other councils such as Barrow Borough Council for example are providing incentives for landlords and encouraging them to accept tenants which are at risk. Incentives include free gas and electrical checks and free smoke and C02 detectors to ensure that properties meet the councils safety standards.