Deposits and rent
Tenancy deposits and rent in advance
Most private landlords ask for a deposit, usually the same as one month's rent, before letting a room or property.
This money is their security against the non-payment of rent, damage to property, or removal of furniture.
A deposit is returnable and you should get this back if you leave the property. However, you will not get back all of your deposit if your landlord has to make deductions. Reasons for these deductions can be (but are not limited to) damage to the property, unpaid rent, or unwanted belongings being left after the keys have been returned.
Your landlord will place your deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. If they do not, they will lose some of their rights to issue you notice if they wish you to leave.
You can find further information on the government Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme webpage.
We may be able to offer you some assistance with either rent in advance on a loan basis, or by using the rent deposit scheme to offer your new landlord a bond in place of a financial deposit being paid at the start of your tenancy.
Wherever you go and however we can help you it is important to have an income.
If you are unsure about what you can or can’t claim for, please visit the entitledto website.
Tenancy agreement fee
An agent or landlord may also ask for an extra fee for drawing up the tenancy agreement and inventory.
No financial help is available for this. However, they can only charge these fees where they have found accommodation for you.
It is illegal for an agency to charge for registering with them. If an agency asks for cash before finding a property for you, get advice. You should not have to pay for information from them or to go on their lists.
Paying your rent
If you pay your rent on a weekly basis, by law your landlord should provide you with a rent book.
If you do not pay your rent on a weekly basis, still ask your landlord to provide a rent book or, failing this, ask for a receipt each time you pay your rent.
Either way, this will provide a correct record of payments, especially if you pay your rent in cash.
Payments and receipts
There are multiple ways that can be used to pay rent, including:
- Direct debit
Check with your landlord to find out what methods of payment they accept, as they may not accept payment methods such as cheques. However you choose to pay, be sure to ask your landlord for receipt of payments and keep your rent book is up to date. This will be helpful for you in case of a dispute.
If you have a written agreement, this should state how much rent you should pay each month/week and the due date.
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