Rents and Bonds
As a landlord the amount of rent you charge is up to you, but it should be reasonable, based on the size and condition of the property. Remember if the amount you charge it is not line with rents being charged for similar properties in the area you are unlikely to attract a tenant.
As a quite, you can look at the Local Housing Allowance rates for The Vale of Glamorgan to find out how much Housing Benefits could be paid to qualifying tenants.
What is Local Housing Allowance?
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) set the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be awarded to a household based on the number of bedrooms they need. The rates are set locally and are published by local authorities. If the amount of rent you charge is higher that the LHA entitlement of the household renting your property, they will be responsilbe for paying the difference.
A persons Housing Benefits entitlement will be based on the households income/savings and the size of the household.
Will Housing Benefit be paid direct to me?
Housing benefit is payable to the claimant. Claimants will no longer have the choice of direct payments to the landlords. Housing Benefits is paid 4 weekly in arrears for any new claiments; However, if a claim already exsists Housing Benefit payments will be made according to the exsiting payment cycle.
The tenant will be responsible for their own rent and will therefore have to arrange to pay the Landlord themself. The Vale of Glamorgan Council will not be able talk to the landlord about a claim unless the claiment has given written permission to do so.
What if the tenant is in arrears?
If a tenant is in arrears with their rent by 8 weeks or more the landlord has the right to ask for direct payments and in those circumstances the Council would confirm to the landlord the aboun of benefit they are entitled to.
For more information visit the Vale of Glamorgan Council website or contact Housing benefits.
Can I keep the bond myself until the tenant moves on?
As of 6th April 2007 it has been a legal requirement for all deposits (for rent up to £25,000 per annum) taken by landlords or letting agents for assured shorthold tenancies to be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. There are two types of schemes available:
- Insurance-based schemes, which allow the landlord to keep the deposit as long as they pay a premium to the scheme.
- Custodial Schemes, which holds the bond on behalf of the landlord (free of charge) until the end of the tenancy.
Remeber: You must give the tenant details of how the deposit has been protected within 14 days or receiving it. Failing to protect a bond/deposit can result in court action and a requirement to repay the bond and a fine or 3 times the amount of the bond. It may also mean that you will not be able to gain possession of property at the end of the tenancy.
For more information about tenancy deposit protection visit Directgov.
What if my tenant is struffling to manage their tenancy?
Support can be provided to help people who are having difficulties with tenancy-related issues. Tenants in this situation should be advised to contact the Council's Housing Advice team, or another professional such as their GP amd ask to be referred the tenant support scheme, referrals are done via the Supporting People Team. Support and advice regarding a range of issues such as budegting/debts, benefit claims and mental health/councselling can be provided.
Guild of Residential Landlords
Landlord Accreditation Wales
National Landlord Association
Residential Landlord Association
Tenancy Deposit Protection
The Rent Officer and Local Housing Allowances - A Guide for Landlords