What is the Rent Deposit Scheme?

Good quality accommodation is available throughout the Huntingdonshire district within the private rented sector. However, most landlords or letting agents will require the first months’ rent up front and a deposit against any breakages, damage or rent arrears at the end of the tenancy.

At HDC we understand the funds for private rented properties can be difficult to find, particularly if you are facing housing related struggles. As such, we introduced the Rental Deposit Scheme to assist those who meet the criteria under “Who can apply?”.

If you qualify for the scheme we may be able to assist you with a loan towards the deposit and the rent required for your chosen property.

The loan is interest free and is payable in instalments over 12, 18 or 24 months, depending on your financial circumstances.

What is a bond agreement?

Any deposit paid to the landlord must be secured in a government approved deposit scheme. Alternatively, some landlords may accept a Council Bond in place of the cash deposit. A Council Bond guarantees a payment up to the agreed sum should a claim be necessary at the end of the tenancy.

If a claim is approved, you will then be liable for this amount and will be invoiced for any payment that is made. However, the advantage of a bond is that it only becomes payable at the end of the tenancy if claimed against. This therefore reduces your loan and repayments up front.

Tenancy deposit protection

Landlords accepting a deposit from a tenant must place the deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.

View more information on the tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Please be advised, The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has now restricted the deposit to 5 weeks rent (for properties with an annual rent below £50,000).

Who can apply?

You can apply to the Rent Deposit Scheme if you are currently homeless or under the threat of homelessness and:

  • you live in Huntingdonshire District, or have a local connection to the area

  • have a low income and insufficient savings

  • do not have any unaddressed debt with the council (including, but not exclusive to: council tax arrears, fines or housing debt)

  • have not been declared bankrupt

  • do not own a property anywhere in the world.

How to apply?

Please ensure, where possible, you have your evidence ready to submit along with your application. You will need to provide:

  • ID for all applicants and members of the household

  • Proof of income for all applicants (2 months, 5 fortnightly or 8 weekly wage slips, or up-to-date benefit letters. If you are on Universal Credit the last 2 months' UC statements)

  • Last 2 months' bank statements for all applicants for ALL accounts in your name(s) including joint accounts, savings, ISAs or children's accounts

  • Proof of your current address

  • Proof of homelessness

  • Proof of pregnancy (if applicable)

  • If you have Settled or Pre-Settled Status, or a pending application with the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to provide your Share Code – please choose the “something else” option on the government website when applying. We CANNOT access Share Codes for Right to Rent or Right to Work checks.

If you do not have your evidence at the time of application, this can be submitted after as per the details on the form. However, please be advised that this will cause a delay in your application being processed.
Apply for Rent Deposit Scheme

We use electronic scanners to check and verify identity documents from all customers applying to access council services. We will scan documents with a product called Trust ID

What happens when we process your application?

When processing your application, we will be looking at your financial situation and whether the tenancy AND loan are affordable. We may run a benefit calculation if we feel this is needed. The results of this calculation are purely an estimate and it does not guarantee that you will be entitled to that amount.

We will also complete a credit check to understand your financial commitments. Please be advised, if you are subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), you will be required to seek permission (in writing) from your Insolvency Practitioner before we can process the application. We will need a copy of this for our records.

Unfortunately, not everyone who applies to the scheme will be approved for a loan. This could be because the tenancy has been deemed unaffordable following the financial assessment, you have not provided the information required or contact has been lost. In some cases, our budget may be running low, which means we will have to prioritise applications received and may have to close the scheme from time to time. If this is likely to happen, we will always let you know at the earliest possible stage.