Swansea Council staff know that moving can be very expensive. When someone is faced with rent deposit, advance rent and moving costs, it can really make a huge difference when people receive help with these costs.
Rent deposit assistance
Rent deposits can be covered by a guarantee. The Swansea Bond Board administers the Bond Guarantee Scheme for the benefit of lower income residents of Swansea. It does so in full support of Swansea Council.
The premise is very simple. The Swansea Bond Board provides a written assurance to landlords that their interests will be protected in the case that the rented property is damaged. Landlords actually receive a Bond Guarantee Certificate that spells out their rights as well as the process for getting reimbursed for damages.
Tenants who damage rented property are still liable for those damages. The difference is that Council can work with the tenant after they vacate the property to cover damage costs to the dwelling and covered appliances. The landlord does not have to wait for the tenant to come up with the money, which could take many months or even longer than a year. Landlords also like the fact that they can still receive compensation when tenants vacate the premises prior to the end of the tenancy.
Another option for assistance with rent deposit is through the Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme, which is administered by Swansea Council. This is a payment made by Council to the landlord to be placed on deposit.
The Discretionary Housing Payment is reserved for residents who have experienced a recent crisis and are unable to find an alternative solution. Council can pay this amount to a landlord who refuses the Bond Guarantee Certificate. This helps to increase housing options for poor tenants who often have damaged credit and no other place to turn.
Help with advance rent
Poor residents can also get assistance with advance rent when they lack the savings to move into a new abode. Swansea Council could approve a budgeting loan to front the cash needed to pay the first month’s rent.
These budgeting loans may be repaid on a flexible schedule and carry zero interest charges. Tenants only have to repay the exact amount that was received. Up to two years are allotted for repayment.
Budgeting loans could include both advance rent and moving costs. It is a great option for someone who is between jobs and is waiting on their first paycheck. It could also be approved for someone awaiting benefit payments.
Up to £1,500 can be approved on an interest-free loan, though the actual amount that may be borrowed is decreased by any social fund loans already in effect. The minimum loan amount is £100.
Crisis SmartMove scheme
Swansea is fortunate to be one of four councils in Wales that participate in the Crisis SmartMove scheme. This service helps single adults who are homeless to access private housing.
SmartMove works in two methods. First, homeless adults receive advice on budgeting and living skills. The scheme also can help with a rent deposit, making the transition to private rented housing more feasible for those who lack the savings to cover the equivalent of two month’s rent payments.
How to apply
Swansea residents who have a connection to the area yet cannot stay with family may be eligible for assistance. Existing benefit payments are usually a prerequisite to receiving aid, though Council sometimes helps residents apply for and receive benefits.
- To request rent deposit aid through the Swansea Bond Board, residents may call 01792 630957. Appointments are available at the High Street office.
- Council can allocate discretionary housing payments to cover rent deposit. The telephone for the Housing Benefit Section is 01792 635885. Appointments are available at the Civic Centre.
- Budgeting loans are available through JobCentre Plus in Gorseinon, Morriston and the City of Swansea. Call 08456 043719.