The demand for affordable housing across the county outstrips the supply and therefore every effort should be made to consider all options available to you, to meet your current need.
The private sector can often be a much quicker way to resolve your immediate housing problem but will depend on your budget and the size of the property you need.
Properties available for private letting are not advertised through Home Point by can be found by searching
- local letting agencies
- local estate agencies
- local press
- websites e.g. Zoopla, RIghtmove, Primelocation
When looking for a property you should bear in mind the local housing allowance limits which will be used to calculate any benefit entitlement should you later should you need to make a claim. This would also give you a better chance of knowing whether the property is affordable when looking to accept any tenancy.
To check the current allowance for the property and area you are looking for, click here
If you have found a suitable property it is likely you will need a form of deposit and rent in advance. This is to give some assurance to the landlord that should anything happen (you fall behind with the rent or you cause any damage), he will be able to recover some, if not all of the debt owing. This can be a considerable upfront payment and therefore in certain circumstances, the council's Housing Solutions Team, may be able to provide some assistance if you meet certain criteria.
Whichever property you choose, you MUST be able to pay the weekly/monthly rental payments and keep these up to date so that you do not lose your home. If you sign a tenancy where the rental payments are too high from the beginning, it may be seen that you have worsened your own circumstances should you seek assistance from the council at a later date.
You are advised to use the benefit calculator on the Council's website to give you an initial guide as to whether the property will be affordable.
It is down to you to find a suitable property that will meet your needs and that you can afford.
Some suggestions to help you to find the right property by visiting
- the letting or estate agents in your local area.
- viewing the local press
- websites such as
- social media sites
- a number of agents advertise on social media sites such as facebook and twitter, follow their pages to get regular updates of available properties.
- some landlords will post their properties on local chat and car boot pages.
- local shops/newsagents/advertisement boards
- word of mouth - talk to your family, friends, neighbours as they may be aware of proprerties available to rent.
When you have found the right property
- Check the rental being requesting against the local housing allowance tables above
- Check the benefit calculator on the Herefordshire Council's website (www.herefordshire.gov.uk)
If you currently have either a Housing Benefit claim or the Housing Element of Universal Credit you may be able to make a claim for discretionery housing benefit towards rent upfront, deposit or removal costs. This is a grant and will not have to be paid back.