Ryedale District Council

Private tenants rent assistance

Information and advice on renting privately from a landlord.

Ryedale District Council does not have any council houses and there is a high demand for housing association properties in the area. Private rental may be an option for you, as you can choose the location and type of property and move in relatively quickly if the landlord agrees. Depending on your circumstances, the Housing Options Team may be able to help you to access private rented accommodation.

How do I find a property to rent?

There is a dedicated Letting agent in Ryedale and most of the local Estate Agents have properties to let. There are also several large landowners in Ryedale who rent out residential accommodation; some of the properties are houses in quiet villages, and some are flats and houses in the market town of Malton. To obtain a list of local estate agents and landlords please email or telephone 01653 600666 or a list is available in the reception area at Ryedale House, Malton. Local newspapers, the internet, shop windows and supermarket notice boards also carry advertisements for accommodation and should be checked frequently as available properties are quickly taken.

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Can I afford to pay the rent?

Renting through the private sector is generally more expensive than through social landlords. You may, though, be entitled to assistance towards the initial costs of renting such as legal fees, rent in advance and bond (subject to eligibility and a local connection to the area), and you may be able to claim Housing benefit and Council Tax relief (either partially or in full) in order to help you with the cost of renting your home.

Assistance from Housing Benefits is calculated using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA). This calculation makes renting privately more affordable than ever for people relying on Housing Benefit. LHA rates are reviewed monthly and can be checked by visiting: Directgov. alternatively you can telephone Customer Services at Ryedale District Council on 01653 600666.

Whatever your financial situation, if you are considering renting privately, the Housing Options Team can assist you to work out how affordable a property is and a benefit calculation can be done before you commit to a tenancy. We would never suggest taking on a property that has been assessed as unaffordable for you.

How can Ryedale District Council help me to rent privately?

The Housing Options Team provides advice about Homelessness and Housing Options. Appointments are normally available every weekday and can be booked by telephoning Customer Services on 01653 600666. Alternatively you can email your query and an officer will answer your query as soon they can.

Depending on your personal circumstances you may be able to get assistance through one of the following options:

  • Landlord Incentives
  • Tenant Incentives
  • Bond Guarantee Scheme
  • Bond Payment Scheme 
  • Rent in advance Scheme
  • Fast Track Housing Benefit

To find out more please contact the Housing Options Team.

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What sort of tenancy will I have?

Privately rented tenancies are usually called Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST), which are initially for a 6 or 12 month fixed term period. After this they roll over on a monthly basis, becoming a periodic tenancy. This means that you do not need to sign up a new document after the first initial period has passed. A landlord is required to give two months' written notice in order to terminate this type of tenancy.

For more detailed information about private tenancies please visit GOV.UK.

Visit Shelter for independent advice about tenancies.

What is a bond or tenancy deposit?

Most landlords ask for a deposit to be paid before you move in to a rented property. All landlords taking payment from tenants in the form of a bond or deposit MUST pay this into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and give the tenant full details within 28 days of the start of the tenancy. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken by the tenant against the landlord who may then incur significant fines.

More detailed information about tenancy deposit schemes can be found by visiting GOV.UK.

Visit Shelter for independent advice about tenancy deposits.

Why do landlords ask for references?

Landlords often ask potential tenants to provide references to prove that you are reliable and will be able to afford the rent. This usually means providing bank details and/or a letter from your employer confirming employment. Sometimes landlords request character references or references from former landlords. If you are taking on a tenancy for the first time, a landlord might accept a reference from a parent or guardian.

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Why do some landlords carry out credit checks?

Landlords need to assess potential tenants carefully before agreeing to let them move in. As part of this process many estate agents and landlords carry out credit checks through a credit agency to find out if tenants have unpaid debts or county court judgements. You may be charged for the check to be done and this fee will not be returned.

What is a guarantor?

You might be asked to provide a guarantor for the rent. This is more common for young people or the unemployed or someone with a poor credit history. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you do not. You may be charged a fee for a credit check to be carried out, to assess whether the person who has agreed to be guarantor is likely to and can afford to pay the rent.

What is a property inventory?

An inventory is a list of everything that your landlord has provided with the property you're renting, including: furniture, carpets, curtains, appliances and kitchenware. It should also state the condition everything is in - particularly anything that was already damaged, marked or worn before you moved in. It is a good idea to take photographs to help prove what was inside the property when you moved in. Many estate agents provide an inventory at the start of the tenancy and check it with you.

Visit Shelter for independent advice about inventories.

What should I do if I want to move out and end the tenancy?

As a tenant you and your landlord have certain rights and you cannot just leave the property without giving proper notice. If you need advice about ending a tenancy please email the Housing Options Team or call on 01653 600666 for telephone advice or to arrange an appointment.

Visit GOV.UK for information about what to do at the end of a tenancy.

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FileNo of pagesFile sizeCreated
Download this file (How_to_Rent_Oct_2015.pdf)How to rent - a checklist81994 kB10-2015

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