The Help to Move Scheme is a landlord incentive scheme designed to support landlords and managing agents of properties in finding tenants and letting their properties, whilst supporting households who are homeless, or are threatened with homelessness, who do not have the financial means to secure their own tenancy.
Households who are agreed for assistance through the Help to Move Scheme can be given a Deposit Guarantee to act as a replacement for paying a cash deposit.
What is a Deposit Guarantee?
A Deposit Guarantee is a written agreement between the landlord/managing agent, applicant and Thanet District Council. The agreement will state that the Council will be financially responsible for the cost of any damage to the property caused by the applicant during the tenancy and any rent arrears, up to the value of the Deposit Guarantee.
How much does the Deposit Guarantee agreement cover?
For a tenant requiring a one bed property a Deposit Guarantee certificate still be issued equivalent to the value of two months of the one bedroom LHA. For a tenant requiring a two bed property or larger, a Deposit Guarantee certificate equivalent to the value of three months of the LHA rate for the size property required will be issued.
How the scheme works?
When an applicant has been accepted as eligible for the Help to Move Scheme they are given information to assist them in finding accommodation. When a suitable property has been found, and the Landlord is agreeable to the scheme, the applicant will need to contact their caseworker. The Landlord Liaison Officer will discuss the relevant paperwork and if necessary the applicant will need to have their income and expenditure assessed to ensure that the property is affordable. The tenancy will only be approved if the property is deemed affordable to the applicant.
The Landlord Liaison Officer will arrange for an officer from the Council’s Housing Regeneration Team to inspect the property to ensure that the property is of a suitable condition and free from category one hazards. Digital photographs are also taken of the condition of the property for comparison at the time of check out in case of any dispute.
If the property passes the inspection the Landlord Liaison Officer will contact the applicant to confirm that the Deposit Guarantee has been agreed. The applicant can then contact the Landlord/Letting Agent to agree a date to move in to the property. If the property fails the inspection, the landlord or managing agent will be notified of any works required. Permalink
What happens next?
Once all checks have been completed the Deposit Guarantee certificate will need to be signed by all parties – the landlord/ managing agent, the tenant and the council. Each party will be provided with a copy signed by all parties.
A Landlord Liaison Officer will remain in contact with the tenant for the first four weeks of the tenancy to address any issues that arise and ensure that a valid application and supporting evidence is submitted in cases where the tenant requires assistance from Housing Benefit in order to meet their rental liability. The Landlord Liaison Officer will also visit the property within the first three months to ensure it is being maintained to an adequate standard. In cases where a property is not being adequately maintained or other tenancy issues are brought to the Council’s attention a follow up visit or further contact will be arranged to resolve such issues.
With regard to any claim made from the Deposit Guarantee for damage or dilapidation to the property, the Landlord will need to supply a breakdown of all costs to be incurred and receipts should be submitted in support. Claims should be reasonable and quotations will need to be provided to the Landlord Liaison Officer for agreement prior to any work being carried out. Evidence will also be required for any claim being made for loss of rent. For more information on how to make a claim against a Deposit Guarantee or how the claims are assessed please see the Help to Move scheme- claims guide and disputes process. Permalink