To rent in the private sector you will normally have to pay a deposit, you may also need to pay rent in advance and fees, and you may need to buy essential furniture. It can be difficult to get all the money together to make these types of payments.
If you receive benefits you may be able to obtain a Budgeting Loan to cover the rent in advance and the cost of furniture - details here.
The Council's New-tenancy Finance Scheme can otherwise help people in urgent housing need with these costs. However you should not just assume the scheme can help you; find out first.
The scheme can help people in urgent housing need which means if:
The scheme cannot help you if you just want to set up your own home or to move home out of choice. If the scheme cannot help, you may need to save before you move. If you save with a Credit Union then after a few months you may be able to borrow the rest of the money you need to fund your move. See Money Spider Credit Union and/or Staffordshire Credit Union.
The scheme helps by providing:
Housing Options will assess whether you are likely to be able to afford a loan. If you are, they give you a voucher which you take to Money Spider Credit Union who then assess how much money you can afford to borrow. Subject to this assessment you can borrow to pay the following costs:
The rent on the property will need to be affordable. If you will need to rely on benefits it will need to be within the Local Housing Allowance you are entitled to - see Finding somewhere to live.
A Bond may be offered if you cannot afford to borrow the cost of a deposit. It is a three-way agreement between you as tenant, the landlord and the Council. The Council undertakes to pay the landlord for losses of up to one month's rent plus £100 which the landlord would otherwise keep from a deposit. If the Council makes a payment to the landlord it will pursue you for the cost.
A Bond lasts up to 2 years, during which time you need to save a small regular amount with a credit union so that you can then borrow the rest of the money you need to pay a deposit once the Bond ends.
Bonds can only be provided for a property which meets the following criteria:
If you think the scheme might be able to help you contact Housing Options:
If you will need help from the scheme, do not take any decisions, make any payments, or commit to a tenancy before help has been agreed.