One alternative to social housing is to look for private rented accommodations in the Kirklees borough. Since many families on a low income struggle to pay the rent deposit, the council has created a scheme that can encourage tenancy agreements. A bond guarantee is available due to a partnership between the landlord, prospective tenant, as well as council.
Now this is not a cash based assistance programme. Instead the local authorities offer a guarantee to the property owner to help reduce their risk. The bond guarantee can be used to pay for housing expenses including the move in deposit or first months rent. In addition, even if all of that goes well but the tenant falls into rental arrears, then the Kirklees bond can be applied to that cost. So the scheme is flexible in what can or can’t be paid.
Aim of Kirklees rent deposit scheme
The number one aim it to make housing more accessible. Private rented housing is expensive. Many families that only have a livable wage, or that were homeless in the recent past, do not have the cash available to pay a rent deposit. Or they do not have money for that deposit as well as all of their other bills such as food, fuel, and others.
The Kirklees bond guarantee scheme can be used to help them get over that barrier. As up to one month of a deposit will be paid. In addition, the flat or home in the district is inspected for gas/electric/EPC (Energy Performance) certificates, damages, and safety. Lastly, the number of homes available for let is a greater number, as it includes more than just the Councils Choice Based Lettings system.
The other option for most residents of the city is social housing. However there is usually a long wait list in place for this government backed programme. So anyone that needs a place to live right now is often out of options. So instead of using a hostel or shelter in Kirklees, the bond deposit can help them move into private sector accommodations vs. waiting a long time for a social housing or council flat.
Another aim of the scheme is the ongoing support. Specialists from the Kirklees council meet with the tenant as well as the landlord at least every 3 months. During this sessions they enquire as to how the tenancy agreement is going. All issues are addressed, such as the following. The advice also lasts the life of the tenancy agreement.
- If the tenant is in arrears on their rent, assistance will be explored from charities, grant based aid, and other options.
- If there are legal issues, including noise disturbances or damages, disputes over the deposit amount, then a solution will be found. There are other methods to get free legal help.
- Any adjustments in income, such as a decrease by the tenant, will be assessed.
- The individual can also be enrolled into job training, get budgeting advice from the Kirklees credit union, and in general get financial literacy training.
The free ongoing advice also includes a savings scheme. The tenant will be required to save some of their income each month against the bond guarantee from the council. This will be used in case the landlord were to ever make a claim against the tenant, such as for property damage or arrears.
There are three centres to apply at for the bond guarantee scheme. One is the Kirklees Council Housing Solutions Service, and the phone number to ring is 01484 221350. The other places for rent deposit help are the Huddersfield Customer Service Centre at 3 Market Street Huddersfield HD1 2YZ as well as Dewsbury Customer Service Centre, The Walsh Building Town Hall Way Dewsbury WF12 8EE.