A new scheme has been introduced by the Council. The Private Sector Access Scheme is to help low income individuals and families access the private rented sector better.
The private rented sector is an important housing option for many people in Stafford and plays an increasingly important role in meeting housing need, preventing and relieving homelessness.
There are increasing waiting times for certain sizes of property from registered providers, especially one bedroom self contained flats, meaning the private rented sector is the fastest housing solution for many people, especially young, single men.
Barriers prevent some households from being able to access social housing or they find themselves on waiting lists for a long time. The private rented sector is sometimes the only option for housing in Stafford, especially for one bedroom shared accommodation or self contained flats and four or five bedroomed houses for larger families.
The Council has agreed to cover the cost of a deposit, which is equivalent to no more than five weeks’ rent, in order to secure a private sector tenancy. The upfront fees required to move into a rented property are often unaffordable, whether potential tenants are in work or rely on benefits, as landlords and letting agents require a month's rent in advance and a deposit upfront before they can move in. We will pay the cost of a deposit to the landlord or letting agent, to be protected in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme.
If you require assistance accessing the private rented sector, please contact the Housing Options team to make an application. You will have to have a housing need and meet the local connection criteria, these can be found in the policy for this scheme, and be on a low income in order to be eligible for the scheme.
If you are a landlord and would like to be involved in the scheme, you can contact the Housing Options team too. You will need to provide:
- An Energy Performance Certificate for the property.
- The most recent Gas Safety Certificate.
- The most recent Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
The landlord will have to show that they have protected the deposit with a government approved deposit scheme and show the Council that they have completed a full written and photographic inventory.
Example inventory templates can be found below:
- Self-Contained Inventory Template - pdf version 57kb (for printing only), word version 192kb (to download, fill in and print)
- HMO Room Inventory Template - pdf version 49 kb (for printing only), Word version 135kb (to download, fill in and print)
- Private Sector Access Scheme Policy (pdf 302kb)