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Rent deposits and other costs

Coronavirus: Customer Service Centres

The customer service centres in Burton and Uttoxeter are to close with immediate effect.

If you are homeless or at risk of being homeless please telephone 01283 508120 between 9am and 5pm, or in an emergency outside office hours please ring 01283 508126.

Alternatively you can email the Council at housingoptions@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk and we will aim to respond the same working day.

If you are a Rough Sleeper please call 0800 130 3415. The YMCA’S dedicated Outreach team are available 24 hours a day, if for any reason there is no answer please leave a voicemail with your contact details.

Other ESBC services affected by Coronavirus

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. 

The Council's Tenancy Finance Scheme (more information below) can help people in urgent housing need with these costs. However you should not just assume the scheme can help you - find out first.

Tenancy Finance Scheme

The scheme can help people in urgent housing need which means:

  • you are homeless or threatened with homelessness (as assessed by Housing Options) or
  • you have been served notice seeking possession or notice of repossession proceedings, or
  • you are leaving temporary supported housing within East Staffordshire, or
  • the Council has served a Prohibition Order or an Improvement Notice on your home which requires you to move, or
  • you are in Band 1 or Band 2 on the East Staffordshire Housing Register and the move would alleviate your housing need.

and

  • you have a local connection to East Staffordshire, which means you are or have been normally resident in the Borough for 6 of the last 12 months or 3 of the last 5 years, or you have established non-casual employment in the Borough, or you have a parent, adult child, brother or sister living in the Borough, and
  • you are unable to afford all the costs of taking on a new tenancy, and
  • you are not excluded by other criteria which exist to limit the risks to the Council

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 Derbyshire Community Bank.

How to find out whether the scheme can help you

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.

Loans

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 Derbyshire Community Bank who then assess how much money you can afford to borrow.

Subject to this assessment you can borrow to pay the following costs:

  • a deposit of one month's rent plus £100
  • one month's rent in advance
  • reasonable agent's fees
  • a package of basic furniture

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.

Get your deposit back

When your tenancy ends you can get your deposit back, minus any deductions you have agreed.  A landlord may ask to deduct sums for tenant damage beyond fair wear and tear.  If you don't agree to any deductions then it may go to arbitration.

If a landlord did not protect a deposit in a Government-approved deposit protection scheme you can claim compensation.  You can also claim if a landlord protected a deposit more than 30 days after receiving all or part of it.  There are a few steps involved in claiming compensation for an unprotected deposit, but in the most serious cases courts have the power to award up to 3 times the amount of the deposit, in addition to the deposit amount you paid.