Renting from a private landlord

Information about assured shorthold tenancies, what a bond is, finding a property to rent through LetsHelpYou - East Riding, what is an accredited home and can you get housing benefit.

What is an assured shorthold tenancy?

An assured shorthold tenancy is the most common form of private sector tenancy, and sets out a fixed period for the tenancy to run (which is usually six or twelve months). It cannot be less than six months, but it can be open-ended.

The landlord can ask you to leave at any time after six months, provided the fixed term specified in your agreement has ended. He or she must give you two months notice in writing if they want you to leave. This is called a notice to quit. If you receive a notice to quit and you are unsure what to do, contact your local customer service centre or housing services for advice.

Tel: (01482) 393939

When the notice period expires you should leave the property, but the landlord cannot simply turn you out of the house. They must go to court and be granted an order of possession. If you do not move out by the date set by the order, the landlord can apply to the court to have you evicted, but you may incur court costs. The court will then appoint bailiffs to evict you.

What is a bond, and can I get any help to pay it?

A private sector landlord may ask you for a deposit or bond (usually one months rent) to cover any unpaid rent or the cost of any damage which may be caused during the tenancy. This bond must be protected in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. If everything is satisfactory at the end of the tenancy, then the bond must be returned.

If you do not have enough money for a bond, you may be able to receive help from our bond scheme. Our bond scheme enables applicants on our waiting list who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, to obtain private rented accommodation within the East Riding of Yorkshire. Demand for this scheme is very high and funds are limited, availability is therefore subject to funding and qualifying criteria.

If you are eligible to register on our waiting list and are homeless, or threatened with homelessness, you can find out whether you would be eligible to apply for the bond scheme by completing the bond scheme eligibility enquiry form online. We will let you know whether you are eligible to apply or not. If you are eligible we will also send you a bond scheme application form.

Many landlords ask for a bond and rent in advance. In certain circumstances we may be able to offer help with rent in advance.

To find out more please contact the Welfare Assistance Team on (01482) 394799.

How can I find a private propertythat's available to rent?

Local lettings or estate agents are a good place to look for private properties that are available to rent, local newspapers can also be useful.

If I rent from a private landlord can I get housing benefit?

If you rent from a private landlord you may be eligible for a type of housing benefit called local housing allowance if you are on a low income and/or in receipt of benefits. You will need to complete a housing benefit application online, or visit at any of our customer service centre. Local housing allowance is based on the number of occupants in your household and the area in which you live, as well as your income and circumstances.

If you are looking for accommodation and want to know the maximum amount of local housing allowance you are likely to receive, you can use the Direct Gov housing allowance calculator.

Local housing allowance calculator (external website)

Benefit is paid direct to the tenant (unless there are exceptional circumstances) and not to the landlord. It is usually paid direct into your bank account, but can be paid by cheque. It is paid four weekly in arrears. If you do not have a bank account, you can contact the money advice team.

Tel: (01482) 394633

They can give advice on setting up a bank account.

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