If you are threatened with homeless or homeless and on low income you might be able to get financial assistance from the Council to help you get a private rented property.
The Council has 2 schemes:
The damage deposit guarantee scheme
The Council provides a written guarantee to a landlord to cover any losses (equivalent to 4-6 weeks rent). This is paid in lieu of the tenants’ deposit. The tenant will be required to repay the Council for any repairs resulting from damage to the property within 3 years of the damage deposit guarantee agreement being signed.
Rent in advance
This is a one-off payment of 1-2 month’s rent made by the Council to the landlord to enable a tenant to get a private rented tenancy. The applicant will need to repay this interest free loan within 3 years of the rent in advance agreement being signed.
These schemes do not count as deposits for the sake of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
To qualify for one of the above schemes the following criteria needs to be met:
- You must be 18 years of age
- You must have been seen by a Housing Options officer and be Homeless or threatened with homelessness under homeless legislation and in priority need; for example, you have dependent children, a member of your household is pregnant or there are serious medical issues
- You must have a local connection to the Maldon District Council area for example you have lived in the District for the last 6 months or 3 years out of the last 5 years or have worked in the district.
- You have no outstanding debts from previous damage deposit guarantees/ rent in advance applications.
There are no reasons to think you will damage the property and/or not pay the rent.
In addition, you may be able to make a DHP (Discretionary Housing Payment) claim for rent in advance. If you already claim housing benefit or universal credit in your current home, you can apply to the Council’s Housing Benefit department for a discretionary housing payment towards the rent in advance before you move in. The Housing Options officer will be able to advise further.
The next steps
Once you have identified a suitable affordable property either within the District or in one of the neighbouring Council areas you will need to see a Housing Options officer and complete an application form and budget sheet to ensure that the scheme criteria are met. If your application for the damage deposit guarantee scheme is approved, you will need to provide information about the scheme to your letting's agency /private landlord. If your application for rent in advance is approved: A payment will be made to your landlord by BACS once the tenancy is signed by all parties.
The Council is unable to act as a guarantor or provide references for applicants.