Are you trying to move but having difficulty coming up with the rental deposit for a new flat? Amid this tough financial reality there are programmes and schemes that can help. Not-for profit organisations, government housing authorities and charities listed below can assist the needy. People facing a crisis and the homeless can get also help with paying a security deposit or rent in advance. There is financial aid provided by many groups for those who need additional support to move into a new apartment.
Why are Rents so Hard to Afford?
The average rental rates in most urban areas of the UK are increasing at double the rate of a typical salary increase. This means that a higher percentage of your monthly pay must go to cover housing costs, leaving you with less to live off of.
This also generally means that your rental deposit is going to go up. The reason this tends to occur is that the amount requested by a landlord will increase just as your monthly rent does. So this presents additional challenges for those that are seeking a new home. There is however an even more expensive trend that is occurring that makes it even harder for you to come up with the rent deposit on your new flat or private accommodations.
Private Landlords Requesting 6 Weeks Rent Deposit
As a result of high unemployment and lost receipts, many private landlords are now requiring a higher security deposit from future tenants. Just a few years ago, 6 weeks of rent as a deposit was deemed high and unreasonable. It is now quickly becoming the norm.
Many prospective tenants are struggling to come up with the funds for this. As what this means to you is that you now have to pay the equivalent of a fifth of your entire annual rental cost upfront before you even move in. Are you prepared to do that?
Agencies Assist with Security Deposits
Many councils and charities are well aware of the burden being placed on our workforce. Higher housing costs are becoming unaffordable. Without help, many people will be forced to choose between unsafe residences and homelessness.
There are ways to get help with paying the upfront funds required by a landlord or the owner of a private accommodation. Some are better than others, and your actual options will depend on your household income, number of members in your household, ages of any children or older adults, presence of any disability and the community where you live.
- Rent Deposit Scheme: Many councils can help with your deposit if it is necessary for you to be able to move into an accommodation. They actually provide the payment to your landlord on your behalf. Each council sets the rules on qualifications. For example, funds may be limited to families with small children. At the end of your tenancy, the deposit would be returned to the council. This is a great way to benefit if you qualify since it means no money out of pocket other than the first month’s rent, which you are usually required to pay.
- Rent Deposit Guarantee: Similar to the Scheme mentioned above, the Guarantee can cover your rent deposit requirements for you. The difference is that your council would provide a bond as a guarantee for the equivalent amount of money rather than an actual cash payment. Should you default or cause damages to the flat, then the landlord may request the funds through the council.
- Budgeting Loan: The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can approve loans that are equivalent of up to 4 weeks of rent payments. If you are receiving Job Seeker’s Assistance, Income Support, or some other government benefit then you may qualify for a budgeting loan. You can apply directly with DWP or through JobCentre Plus.
- Discretionary Housing Payment: Your council could approve a grant for you to use towards a deposit. This can often be combined with other forms of assistance as well. As an example, any type of grant issued to the individual would be above and beyond any Housing Benefit received.
- Charity Grant: Some charities provide help to tenants that cannot come up with the necessary funds to move in. Each not-profit-profit has very specific rules about qualifications as well as the types of situations that they can assist with.
- Rental Loan: If your household income is higher, it is likely that you will not qualify for one of the need-based programmes mentioned above. There are situations where a loan for paying your rent may actually be a feasible and reasonable option. If you normally earn enough to afford your housing costs but depleted your cash reserves due to a financial emergency or some other unexpected costs, then borrowing the money from a lender could give you the funds you need now with the flexibility to repay the proceeds over many months. This can keep your actual monthly payments low so that you can rebuild your emergency fund while repaying the loan.
Local Programmes by County and City
Individuals looking to rent a new property can turn to resources in their area. There are a number of schemes and other forms of financial assistance available that can help with paying a deposit or other housing costs.
Leeds – Bradford and West Yorkshire County
Leicester and Leicestershire County
Liverpool and Merseyside area
Portsmouth and Southampton, including Hampshire County
Suffolk County and Ipswich
Companies or Employers
If your area is not listed, then finding help with rent deposits on your own can be a tricky endeavour. Information is often difficult to obtain, and you also must proceed with caution when predatory loan companies try to steer you into unaffordable products.
PFNI has provided a vast network of detailed profiles of various assistance schemes, charitable programmes and lending products that could provide you with the cash you need to pay the deposit in order to move into a new place. If you cannot find a housing programme that serves your locale, ask us to track down the best options for you. By taking a moment to review the assistance that you could receive, you may save yourself much cost and frustration down the road.