The Bond Guarantee Scheme exists to enable homeless people to gain access to privately rented accommodation, overcoming their inability to provide a landlord's bond or deposit.
As house prices remain high, there has been an increase in demand for rented accommodation. Unfortunately the demand exceeds the supply of council housing and social housing and it is therefore necessary for people, often on a low income, to rent property from private landlords.
Private landlords ask for a bond from the tenant to safeguard themselves against tenants causing damage to the property or leaving owing rent. It usually takes the form of a cash payment equal to a least one month's rent but often more. To offer assistance to tenants wishing to rent in the private sector, the Bond Guarantee Scheme was introduced to remove the burden of having to find a large amount of cash before they can access the housing they need.
The scheme means that the tenant does not have to find the extra money and the landlord still has the security of a bond. The scheme provides a guarantee against loss or damage to the property or its contents, to a maximum of £500.
The bond is not a cash payment. We offer landlords a guarantee that once evidenced we will honour any bond money requested in lieu of rent arrears, legal fees or damage (up to the maximum of £500). It is then expected the tenant will repay the money to the council. We pay no money up front to the landlord.
Families, couples or single people over 18 who are in receipt of a means-tested benefit may apply but you should do so through the Council's Housing Options team.
If we have to pay your landlord the guarantee because you default on your tenancy we will expect you to pay us back.
Bond Guarantees can only be claimed by the landlord to cover:
- Damage or abnormal wear or tear.
- Legal fees
- Rent arrears
It will not cover basic cleaning costs or costs usually associated with managing homes.
The scheme works by you finding a property that meets your needs and asking the landlord if he/she is willing to participate in the scheme. We will then contact the landlord to discuss the scheme and inspect the property to make sure it is in a satisfactory condition. We will notify you if your application has been successful.
The landlord, client and the council sign the Bond Agreement and all parties hold copies.
Any property is eligible, providing that it is a suitable size for you or your family and that you can pay the rent.
You may qualify for Housing Benefit to pay some or all of your rent. You can complete a Housing Benefit Calculation that will advise on the maximum amount of benefit you will receive.