Deposit Bond Scheme
What is the scheme?
One of the difficulties for many people trying to obtain accommodation is finding the money needed for a deposit. As a result the council has developed the Deposit Bond Scheme.
The scheme helps prevent people becoming homeless by providing a bond to cover their deposit. It is a guarantee from the council for up to the value of at least one months rent. It can then be claimed back by the landlord at the end of the tenancy if any damage or rent loss has occurred.
Our customers are looking for decent, secure and suitable homes to live in.
We need landlords with properties.
Benefits for landlords
- The bond removes the legal requirement to protect the deposit.
- You will not have to register the entitlement to a bond with one of the government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes
- No fees or commission are payable for this service.
- A free health & safety inspection of the property will be done prior to letting, with advice given where necessary.
All tenants are interviewed by a member of the Housing Options Team to assess their suitability for a private sector tenancy. We explain the obligations and conduct that is expected from them during the tenancy.
Once a prospective tenant has been interviewed, any support needs that are identified will be put in place by the council's gateway service before the tenancy begins.
Where the tenant is entitled to Local Housing Allowance we will try to ensure all forms together with supporting documents are correctly completed and submitted to the Benefits Service, so there is a minimal delay to payments.
The PSHS team will carry out a 'tenancy health check' six weeks after the start of the tenancy and then at three-month intervals during the term of the tenancy.
Fast tracking of Housing Benefit Claims - The Deposit Bond Scheme will ensure that tenants receiving assistance under the guarantee scheme have rapid access to Housing Benefit.
Which landlords qualify?
- are within the town boundary of Northampton
- are available for letting for a period of at least 6 months
- are vacant
- are free from any serious hazards-this will be assessed by a PSHS 'fit to let' inspection.
- are maintained in a habitable condition for the duration of the tenancy.
- All landlords who take part in the Deposit Bond Scheme must act in a responsible and lawful manner at all times.
- The bond will become void if the landlord, or agent of the landlord is convicted under any housing, landlord or tenant law.
- Terms and conditions of the Deposit Bond Scheme require you to notify us without delay if you or the tenant serves notice to end the tenancy.
What the scheme does not cover
- Unpaid bills
- Personal debts owed to you by the tenant
- Claims for compensation resulting from false or misrepresented information submitted by the landlord
- Fair wear and tear as detailed on the inventory report
- Damage to communal areas
- Claims for compensation submitted by landlords who have themselves breached one or more of the terms of the guarantee agreement.
What happens if the landlord needs possession of the property?
The Housing Act 1996 makes it easier for landlords to let and regain possession of their property. All new tenancies involved in the Deposit Bond Scheme must be assured shorthold tenancies. This type of tenancy allows a landlord to recover a property more easily than other types of tenancy, by serving a simple statutory notice.
Landlords have a right to regain possession of their property at any after a fixed term agreed when the tenancy has come to an end. For the purposes of this scheme the fixed term will be at least six months from the start of the original tenancy.
What happens if the landlord needs to claim for damage or theft ?
- Contacting PSHS staff
- Reporting any loss as a result of theft to the police
- Ensuring that any claim is made within 48 hours of the tenant vacating the property
- Allowing our team access to the accommodation to inspect for claims of loss or damage to the property
- Providing receipts for replacement items and/or estimate repairs
- The scheme does not allow claims for repairing damage caused by fair wear and tear.
- In the event of a claim the council may at its discretion rectify any damage itself
- In the event of theft, the matter must be reported to the police before any claim can be considered.
The landlord is responsible for monitoring and inspecting the property regularly during the duration of the tenancy.
What do landlords need to do next?
If you are interested in renting your property through our Deposit Bond Scheme you will need to be accredited through the East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme. (EMLAS) this is free of charge, requires you to attend a days training course and have 10% of the properties you own/manage inspected.
Once you have been registered and are pending accreditation, please then contact us and we can look to advertise your property through our Deposit Bond Scheme.
Once your property has been advertised we will then encourage our customers to contact you to arrange viewings. All of our customers are interviewed by our Housing Options team to ensure they are eligible for the scheme. Please note there is no obligation to accept anyone referred by the council.
Once a customer has viewed your property and expressed an interest, the PSHS team will then arrange a fit to let inspection, which will entail a detailed inspection of the property to check for any category 1 hazard. Photos will also be taken for the purposes of our Deposit Bond. You will be required to provide your own detailed inventory.
If you decide to let your property to the customer you will be required to provide the following documents on the day of sign up:
The shorthold tenancy agreement
- A Gas Safety Certificate
- An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
If you would like more information about this scheme, please contact the council on 0300 330 7000 (we welcome calls via the text relay service).
or email : firstname.lastname@example.org