The Crawley Rent Deposit scheme is the leading option for lower income individuals, couples and families to gain access to affordable housing in the private rental sector. A government guarantee replaces the need for a cash deposit. It is attractive to local residents in need for a number of reasons.
The main advantage is that this scheme involves zero fees or interest charges. This clearly provides an advantage over any loan options for covering rent deposit. It also provides a realistic option for someone who has bad credit. They cannot borrow money from most banks so it makes sense that they turn to council for aid if it helps them gain access to new rental housing.
Crawley Borough Council administers a rent deposit scheme to provide residents with a way to access private rental housing within the borough when they lack the savings to pay for a deposit down. As long as they can afford the monthly rent, council has an option that could help them get approved for a new tenancy.
Up to one month’s rent is guaranteed by the scheme. Since this is the amount charged by many private landlords, it can meet the deposit requirement of most available properties. It is a really good deal for someone who cannot afford to pay both advance rent and deposit.
The Crawley scheme is similar to plans maintained by other councils, but it is better for both landlords and tenants. It covers damages caused by the tenant as virtually all other plans do. This guarantee also covers arrears. If a tenant leaves without paying the last rent payment, landlords may file a claim for reimbursement with council. It really is a comprehensive bond.
The limit of the bond is a single month’s rent. Landlords who are owed more than this amount may have to pursue the remainder from the tenant. Council will also pursue any amounts owed from that same tenant.
An inspection of the property may be necessary. An inventory form allows for documentation of the condition of the property and is the basis for any future claims for damages. Landlords will need to contact council to file any claims, after which a subsequent inspection may be required.
Residents who participate in the scheme must be classified as low income households. In another twist, there is no requirement that an applicant is already receiving benefits. They just have to be a low income earner. All income received must be documented and verified.
Deposit savings component
One feature of the scheme is designed to reduce dependence on government aid. Once a resident has moved in, they are expected to place a small amount into a savings account on a regular basis. This balance shall accumulate until it is sufficient to serve as a cash deposit on a future rented property. By saving money, residents who participate are weaned off of the support so that they can fend for themselves in the private sector.
The savings feature allows for council to limit the bond term to six months. Savings should be sufficient to allow for a cash deposit to be placed either with the same landlord or with a new landlord should a new tenancy be pursued. Some residents encounter additional financial concerns that cause them to be unable to save for a new deposit. In these situations council has discretion to extend the term of the original bond agreement by an additional six months.
How to apply
Crawley Borough residents may apply for the rent deposit scheme directly with council staff. Enquiries may be directed to telephone 01293 438472. Interviews and assessments are held at Town Hall in Crawley.
No referral is necessary in order to apply for the scheme.