Do you need help with a rent deposit?

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The Council has a rent deposit scheme to help people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The scheme helps people who are eligible to pay the deposit for good standard privately rented accommodation. The Council will decide if you are eligible and whether the property is suitable.

If you find a property that you would like to rent you MUST NOT agree to pay the deposit until the property has been inspected by a Council technical officer.

How does the rent deposit scheme work?

First you need to contact the Housing Options service on 0845 054 8600 or email .We will assess your case to decide if you are eligible, and we will inspect the property you wish to rent to make sure it is suitable. 

If we decide you are eligible and the property is suitable, we will agree in writing to pay the rent deposit. We will then pay the first month's rent in advance to the landlord or the letting agent. The payment is then repaid to the Council at the end of your tenancy.

How does the Council decide if I am eligible?

The rent deposit scheme may be available to clients who:

  • Have a local connection to the Copeland district and
  • Are homeless or threatened with homelessness and
  • Do not have the resources to pay a deposit.  

If you wish to apply for help with a rent deposit, the Housing Options Officer will assess your case and decide if you are eligible. The Housing Options Officer will need to take into account your personal circumstances and your previous history. This will include things like any breaches of tenancy or any rent arrears.

How does the Council decide if the property I want to rent is suitable?

An inspector from the Council will visit the property you want to rent. They will inspect the property, and they will report to the Housing Options team about the condition of the property. The Housing Options team will use the inspector's report to help them to decide whether the property is suitable.

We will consider the following things when we make our decision:

  • It must be a suitable size for your household (so we would not give a deposit for a house that is bigger than you need)
  • It must be affordable for you.
  • It must be free from disrepair. An inspector from the Council will visit the property and make sure it passes the safety and condition requirements.

What to do next:

Do not:

  • Do not pay any holding fees before we confirm in writing that we will pay the rent deposit
  • Do not sign a tenancy agreement until we confirm in writing that we will pay the deposit. This is because if you sign an agreement before our inspector has inspected the property, we will not be able to pay the deposit.


Published: 31 May 2012 - 10:00am