Councils as well as other not-for profit groups in Kent, such as charities, provide help with rent deposits to the low income and homeless. There are schemes provided that offer funds directly to the landlord, or a bond can be used to guarantee the prospective tenants deposit. More information on these services is below.
Not only will an applicant get help with their rental costs, but many of the organisations, such as the Kent Housing Association, will also offer ongoing advice and tenant support. This will help the person find a new home in the private sector housing market, ensure the individual or family stays housed, and will address any other needs they have. Some of the charities, such as YMCA, also coordinate temporary accommodations for those people that are sleeping on the streets or that have no other options available to them.
The main agencies to call for help with a rent deposit are below. If they can’t assist, then referrals to other not-for-profits or groups may be provided.
Councils and housing authorities in Kent
People that live in the City of Canterbury can get help with a deposit from the housing authority department at the council. Applicants need to have a local connection and meet other criteria, such as be homeless or housing vulnerable. There scheme will also prioritize young people, people with a physical disability, and those facing poverty.
After an interview with the Intervention Workers, an adviser will partner with the homeless individual on locating a new private rented sector property. When this is done, a bond guarantee from the council will be used for any rent in advance or security deposit that is owed the landlord. The main office is at Military Road, Canterbury, CT1 1YW. Call 01227 762605 for information on the housing assistance.
Citizen Advice Bureau centres are located across Kent. Staff from the locations will offer advice on topics such as budgeting and housing rights. They are also a place to learn about schemes for deposits, so applicants can use them as a resource for information. Tunbridge Wells CAB centre is at 5th Floor, Vale House, Clarence Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1HE, Phone number is 01892 533 880, or read Canterbury City rent deposit scheme.
Dartford council has a bond guarantee too. It is for private sector housing, and the deposit help is for the low income, homeless, anyone not in rental arrears, and the vulnerable amount others. Up to 4 weeks of a damage or rent deposit will be covered by the council guarantee. More on the Dartford borough bond scheme.
The Dover District Council provides a Rent Deposit Bond Guarantee Scheme. Families or individual seeking help need to be the criteria from the Homeless Act. The landlord of the property will be provided with a guarantee of the deposit that can cover up to one month of total rent costs and any arrears that may be owed too. Address is White Cliffs Business Park Dover, Kent, CT16 3PJ, telephone 01304 872 206, or read more Dover Council Rent Deposit Scheme.
A Family Lettings Scheme is for those individuals with a local connection that are facing eviction or homelessness. Before they move to the street or sofa surfer, the Gravesham council scheme will help them move into a new private sector accommodation that has passed inspection. The tenant will be issued a no interest loan for paying the deposit as part of the scheme. The Housing Needs Team can be called at 01474 337342 for applications.
Prospective tenants that need help with a deposit can call upon the Kent Council. The housing authority created a Rent Deposit Bond Guarantee Scheme for individuals on a low income that need assistance in establishing a new tenancy agreement in the county. There is advice in both locating and moving into a new home, applications for housing benefits, and the guarantee will also encourage the landlord to let to the tenant by addressing the security deposit that is owed to them. More on the Kent Bond Guarantee Scheme.
The Maidstone Council helps the homeless and people in priority need. They can provide a Rent Deposit Bond to the landlord, and this scheme will help the low income move into private rented accommodation in the borough.
For landlords that participate, they will be given a bond that can help address the need for cleaning costs, rent in arrears that is due at the end of the tenancy, and security deposits. So a landlord from Maidstone will also benefit from agreeing to the scheme.
Tenants will be issued a loan of up to £850. This is not a grant as the participant will need to repay the bond using a payment plan. However, if at the end of the tenancy, if the property is clean, not damaged, and if there is no rent arrears due, then the individual will be returned the funds that they repaid over time. So the scheme from Maidstone Borough Council has many components to it, and individuals can call 01622 602440 for more information, or read more on Maidstone deposit programmes and how they can help with housing needs.
Housing Association of West Kent offers the Lifeways scheme, which is for those people that are not in priority need. Clients can partner with a social worker to get help in applying for housing benefits or grants. Other services are available once the person or family moves into the new home. Specialists from the Housing Association will provide signposting services for employment needs and work with the individual on setting goals so they break the cycle of homelessness. Ongoing support and advice is part of Lifeways. The address is 101 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1AY, call 01732 749400, or find how the Lifeways programme offers assistance.
Medway Council can help the homeless and people threatened by it. While limited, grants may be provided from a local welfare scheme for a rent deposit payment or other costd, and the funds are aimed at helping people to live in the Medway Unitary or resettle from a hospital or care facility. Any assistance for housing or deposits is at the discretion of the council, and funds are limited. Find more details, and read financial assistance from Medway Welfare scheme.
Families in Sevenoaks can get assistance from the council’s bond and rent in advance scheme. Any aid is only for people on benefits or the low income in Sevenoaks. The council will work with the applicant on finding a new, affordable and quality home and in paying a security deposit on it. After they move in, ongoing practical support and free advice is provided for dealing with debt arrears or other needs. The council office is at Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1GP, and staff can advise on the private rented scheme. Find more details on how to apply for deposit help in Sevenoaks.
Swale Borough – Prospective tenants as well as seniors can get help from bonds provided from a rent deposit scheme or the Staying Put Service. The council also partners with landlords in the borough to ensure safe and affordable housing is available for prospective tenants. The council will also help renters apply for the Local Housing Allowance, and those government funds can be combined with the deposit bond to ensure homelessness is prevented. More on deposit scheme from Swale Borough Council.
Thanet district council provides a Bond Scheme for people facing an emergency and that are on the path to stability. There is rental assistance for the homeless and people that are threatened with it as well. There are many eligibility criteria for the scheme, and some of them are below.
- The applicant can’t have received any type of financial help from any other deposit scheme in the last 12 months.
- No violent behavior or harassment can have been caused by the individual.
- No landlord from Thanet or another district has made a claim against the tenant.
If eligible, advisers will help the client fast track a housing benefits, offer free advice on tenant rights, vouchers for food or furniture, and other services. They will also coordinate landlord and tenant mediation if needed in the future. The main address is Thanet’s Gateway Plus, Cecil Street, Margate, CT9 1XZ. Dial 01843 57727, or find more details on rent deposit help in Thanet.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council runs two schemes for the vulnerable and people in housing need. As funding allows, there may be aid provided to pay a rent in advance for private housing. Or if that is not possible, some families may be offered a guarantee on the deposit, and this needs to be agreed to by the landlord. The last option is a loan that can be used for rental and move in costs. So there are several services, and continue with Tunbridge rent and deposit schemes.
Deposit schemes and referrals from charities in Kent
While the funding from these organisations mostly relies on donations, they can sometimes help families on a low income and the housing vulnerable. Not only may assist with rent deposits, but many also provide food, clothing, and white goods to the needy.
The Bridge Trust provides a bridge from homelessness into independence. It offers Supported Accommodation to single homeless adults in west Kent for up to two years. The accommodation is in shared houses in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The charity works with each individual to help them overcome whatever issues are preventing them from living independently, they may need support with budgeting, substance misuse problems, mental health difficulties, or accessing education, training or employment. The Trust then facilitate their move on to their own accommodation and provides further support to each person during this transition. If you are homeless or about to become homeless please call 01732 368363 or visit The Bridge Trust website www.thebridgetrust.org.uk to find out if they can help.
CASA – SWALE Young Person Scheme provides those under 25 for advice and support. Some of the programmes include the move-on scheme, help for rent in advance, and ongoing support. They also assist substance misuers in the area too. Address is Bridge House, Sheerness, ME12 1RH, Telephone 01795 434400.
Homebond is a programme provided by the Medway Council, however a local charity runs it. It provides clients with a number of housing services, including funds to pay any rent in advance for a new private property, guarantees to the landlord on the deposit, and more. It helps both the homeless and people that are struggling.
All individuals will need to go through an interview process in order to be eligible. If found to be qualified for the Homebond scheme, then assistance is also provided for finding private rented accommodations in the Medway area. The council is located at Riverside One, Dock Road, Kent, and call 01634 333600. Or learn more on the Homebond deposit scheme.
Porchlight has a few centres in Kent, including Canterbury, Shepway, and Gravesham. The charity will help the homelessness and vulnerable, including ex-offenders, people with a mental health issue, rough sleepers, and the low income.
The applicant can’t have access to funds for the deposit from any other sources, so it is last resort. If they meet criteria, the person can receive assistance from Housing Benefit, budgeting loans, legal support in accessing a new home, and even welcome packs such as for food or furniture. So various tenant support services are provided by Porchlight. The main centre is at 18-19 Watling Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2UA. Telephone 01227 760078, or find additional Porchlight housing programmes.
Shephers Community Services and the Medway Innovation Centre can also help address a housing problem. While they can offer referrals to tenants or the homeless with a crisis, they focus on the person gaining stability. Clients can learn about applying for housing benefits or local schemes, job searches, and move-on advice. The phone is 07472 593094.
The YMCA of Kent provides shelter, hostels, and temporary accommodations. The centres are for people sleeping rough, the homeless, and vulnerable. Most of the clients are age over 18 or older. When the individual is ready to move on from the accommodation, a case worker from the YMCA will help the person apply for either rent deposit schemes from a charity or council, or they can learn about other benefits that are available from the government. The address is Ryder House, 1-23 Belgrave Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The YMCA in Kent can be called at 01892 542 209.