Help with paying a deposit or rent in advance for the private sector

When you have found somewhere to live in the private rented sector, you are likely to be asked to pay either a deposit or rent in advance, or sometimes both.

Budgeting loan

If you do not have any money available, you may be able to apply to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for a budgeting loan to cover a maximum of four weeks' rent. You will not be able to get help with any deposit.

A budgeting loan can be considered if you have been in receipt of Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance for a period of at least 26 weeks. This type of loan is offered at the discretion of the DWP.  For further enquiries concerning this, you will need to contact Jobcentre Plus or the DWP.

The rent deposit scheme

The rent deposit scheme is for people with children or who are expecting a child. It is a faster route to housing than living in temporary accommodation and waiting for a successful bid, which often takes a number of years.

The main benefits of the scheme are choice and speed. In the private rented sector, you have more choice about where you live and what type of property you rent.

You will still ultimately be able to access social housing – once you move into a private rented property you should continue to bid

If you wish to move out of Tower Hamlets to anywhere else in England, we can assist you.

The rent deposit scheme can help you to find a home that is:

  • right for you
  • affordable
  • in the area of your choice

We will also:

  • pay the deposit or bond
  • pay four weeks rent in advance if required
  • check to ensure you can afford the property
  • help you to put in a claim for housing benefit
  • advise you through the letting process
  • offer you tenancy support for the first six months of your tenancy

If you have children, or are expecting a child, download the rent deposit scheme leaflet

Other options

If you are unable to get this type of help, you may have to consider asking for financial help from your family or friends. It may be possible that some landlords will make an arrangement for you to pay extra to build up a deposit. If this is the case, remember to get receipts for any payments.

Renting a room in shared accommodation will be cheaper than renting a flat. If you do not have any money, you may have to consider sharing accommodation until you have managed to save enough money to move into self-contained accommodation.

Find out about all of the self-service advice from Housing Options.