What is a Bond Scheme?
This Bond Guarantee Scheme is designed to help people secure rented accommodation in the private sector whether via letting agents or private landlords in circumstances where people cannot afford to pay a bond. If eligible, the scheme will offer landlords or letting agents a bond guarantee of up to 4 weeks or a calendar month rent.
Burnley Borough Council will provide a written guarantee (or in some cases a cheque) to the landlord that if at the end of the tenancy there is loss, damage or theft from the property we will reimburse them up to the value of the guarantee. No cash payments will be made up front.
Who is Eligible?
You must be:
- Be aged 16 or over
- Be on a low income or receiving benefits/unable to raise a sufficient bond
- Be homeless or threatened with homelessness
- Have lived in Burnley for the last 6 months, 3 of the last 5 years or work in Burnley
- Able to afford the rent on the property you wish to use the bond for
The Council may choose not to offer a Bond if:
- Your landlord or letting agent is your relative
- You have previously received a bond or bond guarantee which you have not repaid or it has been paid out on
- You have deliberately caused your own (threatened) homelessness to specifically benefit from this scheme
- You sign for a property before a decision is made
Each case will be considered on its own merits.
How does the scheme work?
If you are interested in the scheme and have found a property you need to complete an application form and submit this to Housing Advice. You may also be asked to provide evidence to back up your application form.
A member of the Housing Advice team will decide whether or not you are eligible for the scheme. Housing Advice may need to carry out an assessment into your housing need before a decision can be made. Decisions will normally take less than five working days.
If you are eligible, we will contact the landlord of the property to arrange an inspection. If the property passes we will contact you to proceed with the bond scheme; if it fails the inspection we will contact you to say that we are unab,e to proceed until the landlord has completed an identified works and a post inspection is carried out.
If you are found to be ineligible, a letter will be sent to you detailing why this decision has been made. If you are unhappy with this decision, you have the right to appeal to the Housing Advice Manager which should be submitted in writing.
At the sign-up of the property, you will need to agree an inventory with your prospective landlord and sign a tenancy agreement. Once a copy of the inventory and tenancy agreement which you have signed has been received by Housing Advice, a bond guarantee certificate will be forwarded to your prospective landlord.
Which landlords will accept this bond guarantee scheme certificate?
Housing Advice do not keep a list of landlords who have said they would be happy with this type of guarantee as they may be acting as agents for others and it may depend on the actual owner. Landlords do not have to accept a bond from Burnley Council and it is their decision whether they will consider this scheme.
The landlord wants rent in advance as well as a bond?
The Scheme will only provide for a bond. We cannot make any extra payments to cover rent in advance, or administration charges. However, depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for some financial support from the DSS towards rent in advance.
Does the property I find have to be in Burnley?
No, however the property has to be fairly local so that we can liaise with the landlord. Housing Advice may be able to help you look for property if you are unable to find a landlord willing to take the bond guarantee.
How long will the bond guarantee last for?
The bond guarantee will last for the duration of the tenancy. It is not transferable to another property.
What if I leave the property earlier than the first 6 months?
If the landlord believes that there is loss, damage or theft from the property the landlord can make a claim on the bond as soon as the tenancy ends.
What if the landlord makes a claim on the bond?
If the landlord decides to make a claim on the bond guarantee, the reasons for the claim will be considered.. If it is clear that the landlord has a valid claim, the landlord will be sent a cheque for the amount of the claim, up to the maximum value of the bond guarantee.
Will this affect me?
Yes. You will be advised that a claim has been made, the reasons for the claim and the decision Housing Advice made. You will be issued with an invoice and you will be expected to make an arrangement to repay the debt. If you fail to come to an agreement, the Council will consider legal action. This issue may also affect any future request you may have for Bond scheme assistance.