The rent top-up scheme

Pages in The rent top-up scheme

  1. The rent top-up scheme
  1. Your questions answered

Your questions answered

What is the Rent Top-Up Scheme?

An initiative by Coventry City Council to put prospective tenants in touch with private landlords wanting to rent their properties. The scheme will support the Council to reduce the number of people moving into, or living in, temporary accommodation.

How does the scheme work?

The Accommodation Team within the Housing and Homelessness Service will identify prospective tenants who are looking to rent a private sector property and introduce them to landlords signed up to the scheme. If a 12-month tenancy is agreed, the Council will:

  • Provide an extra one month’s rent, in addition to 12 months of benefit payments
  • Guarantee the shortfall between the tenant’s income or Housing Benefit
  • The rent top up be based on average market rent for the location of the property
  • Provide a paper deposit bond equivalent to one month’s rent to cover any damages

How does the deposit bond work?

The Council can offer a bond as an alternative to a cash deposit. The bond acts in the same way as a cash deposit and can be claimed against for losses such as damages at the end of the tenancy. We will cover accidental damages to the property or fixtures and fittings, but not general wear and tear. The bond deposit will not cover:

  • Outstanding bills or service charges
  • Rent arrears
  • Damage to communal areas or communal amenities unless this can be proven to be a fault of the tenant.

The bond is valid for the initial 12 month tenancy and is limited in value to the equivalent of one month’s rent.

What are the benefits for me as a landlord?

  • Completely free service
  • Access to prospective tenants
  • Free inspection of the property at the start of the tenancy
  • A check of the tenant’s history for rent arrears and anti-social behaviour
  • A deposit bond that covers against damage
  • For tenants on legacy benefits, we will ensure Housing Benefit payments are direct to the landlord
  • For tenants on Universal Credit, we will encourage the housing element to be paid direct to the landlord by working with the DWP
  • Free inventories
  • Access to the Council’s Accommodation Team to deal with your queries and offer support to the tenant if required during 12 month tenancy

What are my responsibilities as a landlord?

The tenancy agreement is between the landlord and tenant. You will retain all the normal landlord responsibilities. The landlord will also:

  • Comply with all the terms in the terms and conditions agreement
  • Sign a 12 month tenancy agreement with the tenant
  • Sign the fit and proper person declaration form
  • Maintain the property to a good standard throughout the tenancy and do necessary repairs
  • Seek to resolve any disputes with the tenant and inform the Council of any issues
  • Provide the Council with a copy of the tenancy agreement, gas safety certificate and any other documents as requested
  • Provide an invoice for payment

What type of property is required?

All types of self-contained property will be considered for the Rent Top-Up scheme. However, the Council is particularly interested in larger two, three and four bedroom accommodation suitable for families.

How long should the property be available?

The Council requires landlords to let on the basis of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a minimum period of 12 months.

What happens if there are problems?

The landlord has a direct contractual relationship with the tenant. However, if there are disputes between the landlord/tenant which could result in homelessness for the tenant then the Council will offer the tenant and landlord advice and support from our Accommodation Team to find a mutually agreed solution.

How can I find out more or express an interest in joining the Rent Top-Up scheme?

You can complete the online expression of interest form to tell us about you and your property or if you have any questions not answered here email and a member of the Accommodation Team will respond within two working days.

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