The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme
What you need to know
The aim of the Scheme is to help local people rent privately by offering a deposit guarantee to landlords.
The deposit guarantee is usually offered as a bond in the form of a three way agreement, not as an upfront payment.
If the council has to pay the landlord under the terms of the rent deposit guarantee, the cost will be held by the council as a debt in your name. Such a debt may also adversely affect any application you make to the council for housing in the future.
You may be asked to pay rent in advance which means paying the first month rent before you move in. You may also be asked to pay fees to the landlord or agent. The council's deposit guarantee does not cover this cost.
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to find you a home or that you will be able to find one yourself you will be successful in your search for private rented accommodation.
The rent deposit guarantee will only be given for a in respect of a property that if it is the right size for your needs and if the rent is considered reasonable for housing benefit purposesclose to the local housing allowance. We need to ensure you will be able to afford the rent payments.
Once you have found a potential landlord and have reached agreement in principle you will need to have a rent deposit scheme interview in which we will ask questions about your circumstances and the suitability and affordability of the property you want to rent.
You will also be given further advice about the Scheme and guided through the actual letting process.
Please note that the tenancy, its terms and conditions and any other agreement not involving the deposit guarantee are matters for the Landlord and you. Any matters which arise during the course of the tenancy i.e. repairs or rent are matters between the landlord and you. The council cannot act as an agent for or as a representative of either party. We simply facilitate the granting of a tenancy through the issue of the rent deposit guarantee.
The deposit will remain in place for the duration of your tenancy but may be transferred at the discretion of the council.
What you need to do
- You will need to work with a Housing Options Officer at the council
- You will need to find a suitable property and can take our advice on how to look for one
- Remember that in your search for privately rented accommodation you are likely to be more successful if you are able to move to an area where rental costs are more affordable. Think about how far from your current location you could move.
- You will be required to complete a financial statement in which you will advise of your income and expenditure.
- If you are in receipt of benefits to help pay the rent you must let the landlord know during the initial negotiations when you first contact them. You will usually be asked to provide a guarantor.
- In signing the rent deposit guarantee agreement you are agreeing to repay to the council any money paid to a landlord or agent under the terms of the agreement.
- You will be expected to make arrangements to start saving for the deposit yourself. An agreement will be made at the interview with regard to how much you can afford to start saving regularly.
- You will be expected to conduct your tenancy in a responsible manner.
- At the end of the tenancy it is important that you notify us that your tenancy is ending.
What the council will do
- The council will have a named Housing Options Officer to work with you
- The Housing Options Officer will meet with you to find out what you need and provide advice
- We can advise on how to find a suitable property to rent. We advise you to visit local lettings agents in person to advise them of your requirements. You might find a landlord by looking in the local newspaper, community notice boards, asking a letting agent or by advertising yourself.
- They will explore ways of funding the other costs involved in moving if you are unable to access the money
- You will be helped to establish whether the Local Housing Allowance for the area in which the property is will cover the whole rent or whether there would be a shortfall that you would have to make up from your own income.
- We will help you reach an agreement with the Landlord
- We will share with you the contact details for any Landlords that we think can help you
- The Housing Options Officer will ensure that you have access to any other support available to you, like financial advice or general support to help make your search a success
- The council facilitate the granting of the tenancy through the issue and settlement of the deposit.
- In the event of any dispute concerning the settlement of the deposit we will make the final decision. The council will act as a fair and impartial arbitrator. A further meeting may be arranged at the property to formally end the guarantee and agree any settlement.
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