Rent in Advance and Rent Deposits
Help with money required up-front to move into a rented property
If you are at risk of homelessness and on a low income, the Council may be able to provide financial assistance to either make your current accommodation affordable or to help you secure alternative accommodation.
Each scheme has its own criteria and application process, so any decisions made in respect of an application will depend upon your personal circumstances.
Please contact the Housing Options Team to discuss your situation first - we can then work out the most suitable option for you.
Discretionary Housing Payment
Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to offer you support through a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). The DHP scheme provides financial assistance for housing costs for those entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (UC). Housing costs can include rent, rent deposits, rent in advance or other lump sums like moving costs.
This is a discretionary scheme with the purpose of alleviating poverty, sustaining tenancies and preventing homelessness, and helping customers through personal and difficult events.
Rent Deposit and Rent in Advance
The Council are able to provide assistance in the form of a deposit and rent in advance, if you meet the following eligibility criteria for the scheme:
- You have a local connection to West Berkshire (having lived here for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years, have permanent employment here or have immediate family who have lived here for over 5 years)
- There is evidence that you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
- There is evidence that you are eligible for housing assistance
- There is evidence that you have no other way of finding the deposit (we expect you to have exhausted all other means of securing the finances)
If you find a property to rent, the Council will undertake a financial assessment to firstly confirm affordability and ensure that the property is suitable for your needs, as well as ensuring the property meets any legal requirements.
Once this is established we can formerly offer the assistance of:
- Up to one month's Local Housing Allowance Rate (determined by your household size) as a deposit
- First month's rent in advance
The deposit can be claimed upon for any damage to the property beyond what is fair or reasonable, or if you fail to pay the rent.
We will claim any money paid out at the end of the tenancy. This lets you move in without needing to provide a deposit yourself.
Please note: any property that you are looking to move into, needs to be affordable for your household in the longer term.
To find out if you may be eligible for any financial support, please get in touch with the Housing Options Team.