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Tenant's Guide

What is the Private Rented Scheme (PRS)?

The Private Rented Scheme is a way to help homeless people in Medway meet their housing needs. By working in partnership with landlords in the private rented sector, the council aims to house households who are unable to move into rented accommodation because they cannot raise a deposit or pay rent in advance.

 

How the scheme works

The council offers assistance to eligible homeless clients. Once an application is made for assistance the council will arrange for an individual assessment to be completed.

Each case is assessed individually to determine how much assistance can be provided.

 

 

Benefits of the scheme for tenants

  • Assistance with rent that is payable in advance, the deposit and administration fees (terms and conditions apply, please speak to one of the team).
  • Offer of suitable accommodation which has been inspected by The Private Sector Housing Team.
  • The team will ensure that your rent is affordable
  • On-going tenancy support assistance, including visits to premises to help address any issues that arise
  • In the event of a serious issue arising with your landlord or a neighbour we can arrange mediation to help try and resolve the situation
  • We will organise a photographic inventory when you move in to and out of the property
  • We will help you to complete Housing Benefits forms and to get this processed as quickly as possible
  • We provide a dedicated telephone number and email address so that you always have direct contact with the team if you need it
  • Provide advice and assistance with how to maximize your income and gaining access to benefits
  • Full tenant accreditation following completion of the training course and monitoring period.

 

Your questions answered

Can I find my own accommodation?

This is possible. If you find a landlord who is willing to join the scheme, you will need to complete a Property Form and submit this to the council. However, you should not sign any agreement with a landlord until they have been approved and you have the written consent of the council. An agreement of the council must be sought in writing before you move into any accommodation.

 

What if I have a problem with my landlord?

Should an issue arise then contact the council through the dedicated email/phone number provided. An officer will make contacts with you and the landlord to resolve the issue. Please be aware that if you fail to work with the council to have issues resolved with the landlord and if this results in an eviction, then you may not be eligible for further assistance from the council.

 

Will vulnerable tenants receive support?

If the tenant/s has a tenancy support worker, a social worker, care manager or any other support worker the team will work with them during the tenancy period to help them to manage their tenancy.

 

What happens if I cause damage to the property or I have rent arrears?

If the council is holding a deposit or rent top up then you could lose this. If you are responsible for serious damage then the landlord could pursue legal action as appropriate.

Tenant Accreditation Scheme

As part of the Private Rented Scheme, clients will be required to attend tenant accreditation training and sign up to the Tenant Accreditation Scheme. This is a two-hour information and training session that will cover:

  • Starting your tenancy and your responsibilities when you move in
  • The responsibilities of landlords and tenants
  • Budgeting advice and where to find help with any debt issues

 

What happens when I end my 6-month tenancy?

Tenants who have successfully complied with the Code of Conduct for the first six months of their tenancy will have completed their accreditation and a confirmation certificate will be issued to them.

 

How do I apply?

In the first instance speak to your housing officer. If you are eligible then you will be issued with a offer letter stating that you are eligible for the scheme.

Never sign an agreement with a landlord until you have the written consent of the council.

 

Contact Details

If you need to know more about the scheme please contact one of the team on:

Phone: 01634 333014 / 333053 / 331687

Hotline: 07725 607261

Email: housing@medway.gov.uk