Lower income individuals and families who have been living in Arun might be aware that council can help with rent deposit and advance rent. The reality is that there are actually several methods for getting help with these cash requirements to get moved into a new home.
Instead of taking the destructive path of payday loans to pay a landlord the upfront amounts, anyone could choose amongst a host of options that can help them move into rental housing. Each option is best suited to people that meet certain criteria, so some assistance services may be a better match to an applicant than others.
Rent Deposit Bond
Landlords normally require that a full month’s rent be paid upfront as a deposit. This amount is in addition to the advance rent that must be paid prior to gaining access to the property. There is a scheme funded by Arun District Council that can allow tenants the luxury of making monthly instalments towards the deposit rather than having to pay it all upfront.
Council can guarantee the full amount of the normal rent deposit. If a tenant leaves prior to the end of the tenancy agreement or causes damages to the premises, council agrees to pay the charges to the landlord up to the maximum benefit of the bond. It allows someone to get moved in without having to pay a rent deposit.
The expectation is that tenants will regularly save money into an account that can be used as a rent deposit on a future tenancy. Through this deposit saving scheme, residents have extra time to save for a rent deposit while still enjoying the benefits of being in their own home. It gets people off the street and out of other homelessness programmes, and cost to council is relatively small in comparison. A simple application and an assessment by the Housing Services Manager will be necessary.
The bond is not intended for social housing. It helps open up access to private rented housing.
Interest-free loan from Social Fund
A bond can cover the rent deposit but cash still must be used to pay advance rent. A zero interest loan from the Social Fund could be authorised, thereby allowing a resident to get moved in with zero cash down.
An application is required through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Due to the timeframe involved for evaluation and approval, residents should file the request right away to give time for a decision to be made.
Some recipients of Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance may request a Budgeting Loan. The requirements are the same in all areas of the country.
Benefits must be approved and received for at least half the year leading up to the request. Repayment of these interest-free loans is somewhat flexible depending on the financial capabilities of the tenant.
How to apply
Residents of Arun who have a local connection to the district are encouraged to contact the Housing Options team to be considered for all sources of available aid. Whether assistance comes directly from council or from another organisation, Housing Options can evaluate multiple possibilities to make sure that a feasible solution for gaining access to private rented housing is found. After evaluating your completed Customer Statement and Declaration, potential matches for funding based on an applicant’s qualifications can be made.
There are two locations available for residents to request help with deposit and advance rent to a private home in Arun.
- Bognor Regis Town Hall
- Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton
Enquiries may be made at 01903 737552 or 01903 737763. Residents will be asked about certain details that can enhance eligibility, such as the presence of children in the household or if an adult is currently pregnant.
In some situations a resident needing help with both deposit and advance rent may only be a candidate for one source of assistance. Housing Options can still make recommendations on whether any private sources of funding, such as a credit union loan might be a good source of supplemental funding.