Residents of Carmarthenshire may have access to a bond scheme when savings are not enough to pay rent deposit required for a new tenancy. It could cut in half the amount of money they must pay down when renting a private home.
Originally created as a part of the Smart Move initiative, the Carmarthenshire Bond Scheme is Council’s solution to helping lower income citizens access the private rented sector. It is designed to help clear the final obstacle that many people face when they are seeking their own place to live.
While being on benefits is a primary qualifier for eligibility, it is not a requirement. Simply having low income could also result in approval. One other major condition is that the applicant lacks savings. Some savings will not disqualify an applicant, but savings that are substantially more than £500 indicates that the person can likely find a way to pay rent deposit without the help of a bond. It may sound counterintuitive, but the purpose is to ensure that only those who are the most needy are approved for the aid.
This priority need population is the target of the scheme. They are identified as being homeless or at risk of homelessness. Someone living in a Bed and Breakfast or some other temporary accommodation is classified as homeless. If a person is living with family or friends and they have been informed that they need to move out soon, then they are at risk of homelessness. The most obvious form of being at risk is when an eviction notice has been served.
The bond scheme replaces the cash deposit requirement with an alternative arrangement. Bond workers explain how the process works in the initial interview.
An application is first completed that lists the household members and income sources. A bond worker discusses the need for assistance and determines if all requirements are met for inclusion in the scheme. Documentation is checked to confirm amounts entered on the application.
Candidates for rent bonds must identify a home they would like to move into. The home does not have to be currently listed as a property where bonds are already accepted. Landlords must be interested in participating. If the landlord consents to accept a bond in lieu of cash, then the property could be an eligible match for the applicant. An inspection is usually required to ensure that safety and cleanliness standards are met. The inspector will also document an inventory of household appliances which will be used to write the bond agreement.
Anyone who ends a tenancy prematurely is liable for damages, cleaning caused by excessive wear and tear or arrears. Council will pay the landlord any approved claims without delay as promised by the bond certificate. Therefore, these former tenants would be required to set up an instalment plan or some other arrangement to repay the amounts owed directly to the council.
The goal is to assist all clients to enjoy a successful tenancy. To meet this goal, 12 weeks of tenancy support is included. Any hardships incurred by the tenant are addressed with their designated contact through the scheme.
To access the bond scheme, residents with a local connection to Carmarthenshire may call their closest Housing Options office:
- Ammanford–Call 01269 598213.
- Carmarthen–Call 01267 228937.
- Llanelli–Call 01554 742350.
The Carmarthenshire Bond Scheme is administered through a partnership between council’s Housing Options team and local housing associations which may provide referrals for potential candidates. Gwalia (Tai Cymdogaeth Cyf) is one of the primary partners through its role as a social landlord. Other partners include Bro Myrddin Housing Association, Coastal Housing Group LTD, Cymdeithas Tai Cantref and Family Housing Association.