Thursday, 17 September 2015

Civilian Housing On Leaving The Services

If you are at risk of losing your accommodation you should contact the Housing Advice Service of your local authority for free advice and assistance as soon as possible. The main thing to remember is to act early to give us as much time to help as we can.
We offer a range of services to help people of all ages and circumstances , providing advice at an early stage about your available housing options

Please remember that there is a huge demand for social housing which is in short supply. This means that council and housing association properties are not widely available and usually only go to those who are in the most need. You must consider other solutions to your housing needs. If you receive a gratuity on leaving the Services, this will be taken into account by many authorities who will expect you to use these funds to provide your own home. 

Independent housing advice can also be obtained free of charge from Shelter (opens in a new window)  or your local Citizens Advice Bureau (opens in a new window) .

Citizens Advice Bureau Wareham provide drop in sessions at Bovington HIVE every Tuesday 9.30am – 1pm. Appointments not necessary, just turn up. An adviser will see you in a private room. Confidentiality guaranteed.

Finding private sector accommodation is usually the most realistic housing option for many people offering many choices.
Before you look for a property you should decide on how many bedrooms you will need, especially if you need to apply for housing benefit to assist in paying your rent. If you are entitled to housing benefit we may not pay for a property that is too large for your needs as assessed under Local Housing Allowance regulations.

Where to find accommodation for rent
Properties to let can be found advertised in local newspapers, letting agents, shop windows, on websites and by word of mouth.
Local newspapers and websites include:
·         Fish4 (opens in a new window) http://www.dorsetforyou.com/dorsetforyou/images/newwindow.gif
Letting Agencies usually advertise in the local press, Yellow Pages and the Thomson Local Directory. It is advisable to visit a number of different agencies to increase your chances of finding accommodation. Agencies can be expensive, often charging fees, and expecting rent in advance and security deposits.

Securing Rented Accommodation
When looking for private accommodation it is often 'first-come first-served' so contact the landlord quickly. Try to give a good impression over the telephone and when you meet in person. You may be asked questions such as whether you work, have children or pets, how old you are and if you smoke. It is best to be honest because you need to find a home that is suitable for you and your family and a landlord who is happy with you as a tenant.

If the landlord requires rent in advance or a deposit and you do not have the money available, try to negotiate.  You may also be eligible for assistance from our Rent Deposit Schemes if you have no source of raising the finance needed yourself.