Rent in advance, deposit and bond schemes
Our schemes help those who are homeless, or facing homelessness, in securing private rented accommodation, and are dependent on funding available.
The schemes are for people who cannot raise funds to secure private rented accommodation themselves. If you can borrow the money from elsewhere, you’re not normally eligible for the scheme.
We’ll ask for your bank statements and proof of your income and savings to establish how much assistance you need and whether you can afford the property you have found. It’s important you provide these documents as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Rent in advance
This is where a landlord requires rental money in advance of a tenancy commencing. Assistance may be provided through a repayable loan paid direct to the landlord. The loan must be repaid in regular instalments.
Landlords usually require a deposit, which they should protect in a national deposit protection scheme until the end of a tenancy, as security against damage or arrears. We would provide a deposit direct to a landlord, which in some cases could be arranged as a loan with you. Where a loan is used, this must be repaid on a regular basis, meaning you could have some funds returned to you at the end of the tenancy, unless any deductions are made for damages or arrears.
We may also arrange a deposit directly with a landlord but not arranged on a repayable loan basis with you. In these cases, we only ask you for payment at the end of a tenancy if we recharge you for any damage caused or rent arrears.
These are written guarantees where no money is provided to the landlord at the start of a tenancy instead of a deposit. The rent bond agreements confirm councils will pay a landlord for agreed damages or rent arrears at the end of a tenancy, up to the agreed bond value. If a landlord claims against the bond, you would be recharged by us for the amount claimed.
Who is eligible for the schemes
You can apply if you’re over 16 and have been resident in the relevant area for the previous 6 months. You must usually have a priority need.
Priority needs include:
- a pregnant woman
- a household with dependant children
- someone vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or learning disability or physical disability or other special reason
- someone homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster
- aged 16 and 17 years old and not in local authority care
- aged under 21 years old who were in local authority care between the ages of 16 and 18
- aged 21 and over who are vulnerable as a result of leaving local authority care
- vulnerable as a result of leaving the armed forces
- vulnerable as a result of leaving prison
- vulnerable as a result of fleeing domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence.
How to apply
For more information, contact our housing services team.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP)
In making a decision about your eligibility for assistance through the schemes, we may assist you with a claim for Discretionary Housing Payment if you remain unable to raise the funds to secure private rented accommodation which may include:
- assistance with completing the online DHP form
- engaging with your landlord
- making a re-payable loan to you for your Deposit and any Rent in Advance but paying this to your landlord
- If you are successful with your DHP application the payment will be made to Housing to re-pay the loan.