What you need to know to join the Homebond scheme

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					Community wellbeing

         What you need to know to join the
                      Homebond scheme

How does the Bond work?

A Bond is provided instead of a rent deposit. Instead of a rent
deposit, the Home Bond Scheme provides a guarantee bond for up
to the value of one months’ rent. When the tenancy ends, the
landlord can make a claim for any wilful damage or rent arrears.

Payment of the Bond is at the                  • Verification of arrears in the form of a
discretion of the Council and works to           rent statement
be approved are checked by the                 • Copies of letters that show how the
Home Bond Officer during an exit                 landlord has pursued the tenant for
inspection.                                      monies owed
                                               • Photographic evidence of areas
At this inspection, both tenant and              where wilful damage has occurred.
landlord must be present, so that
all parties can agree on any claim             Items of furniture, carpets, curtains,
amount.                                        built in appliances and white goods
                                               are not covered by the bond
In all cases, the tenant must be given         provided, as it is expected that the
opportunity to make good any area of           landlord will have insured these as
disrepair or compensate the landlord           part of the contents insurance.
for any financial loss.
                                               It is also the responsibility of the
If it is not possible to carry out this type   landlord to take out insurance
of inspection, a claim will only be            against rent loss and damage. This
considered if the supporting evidence          will help with any financial loss
is proof that the landlord is at a loss. In    during or at the end of a tenancy
these cases, the evidence required will        since the bond does not cover any
be:                                            items or circumstances that should
                                               be covered by adequate insurance.

When the tenancy commences, an                and may be let to people on a
Assured Shorthold Tenancy                     benefit based income. This is likely
Agreement is provided for an initial          to incur a small surcharge on any
period of 6 months. At this time, the         current buildings insurance, but is
tenant must be served with a Section          necessary to ensure that you have
21 Notice, so that either party can end       valid insurance cover.
the agreement at the end of this            • Contents Insurance - All items of
period.                                       furniture and white goods that are
                                              provided in the property should be
The landlord or their agent must be           insured under contents insurance.
present at the sign up to issue and         • Landlords Gas Safety Certificate -
sign these legally binding                    this must be up to date.
                                            From April 2009 all gas safety work
We recommend that the landlord visits       must be carried out by a Gas Safe
the tenant in the early stages of the       Registered Engineer and you must
tenancy, to ensure that the tenancy is      ask to see their Gas Safe Register
maintained well, and that the property      ID. Corgi registered is no longer
is being kept in good order.                acceptable.

How does my property qualify for            It is a legal requirement for landlords to
the scheme?                                 arrange and pay for an annual safety
                                            check, and any necessary works. The
To qualify for the scheme there are a       inspection must be carried out by a
few things you will need to provide:        person who is registered with, and can
                                            provide their Gas Safe Register ID,
• Proof of ownership – We will need         approved by The Health & Safety
  to be satisfied that you are the          Executive (HSE). The landlord must keep
  owner of the property, and you will       a record of inspection dates, any defects
  need to provide a copy of your            identified and any remedial action
  Mortgage deeds.                           taken. The landlord must give a copy of
• Buildings Insurance – This should         this record to an existing tenant within
  reflect that the property is being let,   28 days of the date of the inspection.
Should you require further information,   (DEAs) and On-Construction Domestic
contact the Health & Safety               Energy Assessors (OCDEAs) can also be
Executive’s Gas Safety Advice Line        found by searching the database of
on 0800 300363 or please visit:           accredited domestic energy assessors.
                                          What does an assessment for an
• Electric Periodic Inspection &          EPC involve?
  Test Report - with any defects
  remedied. As above, a copy of the       An energy assessor needs to visit your
  certificate should be provided to the   property to conduct an energy
  Home Bond Team. Your property is        assessment. During the assessment
  required to have the electrical         they will collect details of buildings
  system checked by a qualified           dimensions, construction and
  engineer i.e. NICEIC or Part "P"        heating/hot water provision.
• Energy Performance Certificate          This information is fed into the
  (EPC) - If you are going to let your    approved software programme which
  property, as the landlord you must      produces the EPC and
  give your tenants an up to date EPC     recommendation report. The energy
  certificate. This inspection can only   assessor will then record the certificate
  be carried out and certificate issued   onto a national register via his or her
  by an accredited energy assessor: For   accreditation scheme and the landlord
  more information please visit:          with a copy. The certificate is then
  http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/index.h     ready to be made available to your
  tm.                                     tenants.

How to find an energy assessor?           Expected condition of property:

All accreditation schemes hold lists of • The structure of the building (walls,
their energy assessors, and can provide   roof, guttering, chimney, etc) is sound.
you with contact details for someone in • Windows and doors in good working
your area. Domestic Energy Assessors      order so that they open, close and

    lock with ease. Keys must be              • Gardens must be tidy and safe.
    provided for all locks in the property.     Rubbish removed, grass, trees and
•   At least one smoke alarm on every           shrubs cut back ready for handover.
    level should be fitted and in working       Boundary fencing fitted securely.
    order.                                    • Decoration of the property must be
•   If your property has 3 storeys or           reasonable and the property clean
    more, we would suggest for the              throughout.
    safety of your tenants that working       • Floor coverings must be clean and
    fire doors are fitted, and a hard-wire      well fitted so that there are no trip
    smoke alarm system in place.                hazards (we do not recommend the
    For information on fire safety              fitting of light coloured carpets).
    please visit:                             • Curtain rails or poles are to be fitted
    www.bucksfire.gov.uk                        at all windows.
•   Stopcock (normally located in the
    kitchen) should be easily accessible      What is the Landlord responsible
    and in good working order.                for?
•   Kitchens – cupboards, drawers and
    work surfaces must be in good             Repairs
    condition. Taps should turn on and
    off easily and all pipe-work checked.     The landlord is responsible for carrying
•   Bathrooms – Sanitary-ware must be         out timely repairs to the structure
    in good order. Taps should turn on        (interior and exterior) of the building,
    and off with ease, WC should flush        fixtures and fittings within the property
    and refill, WC seat fixed securely. If    and maintaining boundary fencing.
    you have a shower attachment, it          • You must ensure that the
    should be in working order and a             installations for the supply of gas,
    shower rail and curtain should be            water, electricity and sanitation
    provided                                     (basins, sinks, baths and WCs) are
•   White goods to be fitted in good             kept in good repair.
    working order, including fridge           • Ensure that the provision for heating
    freezer, cooker with oven and hob,           and hot water are kept in good
    and washing machine.                         working order.

• Ensuring any defects noted during        Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
  any gas or electrical safety
  inspections are remedied by              Any family on a low income and any
  appropriate and qualified engineers.     tenancy starting after 7th April 2008,
                                           will have LHA used to assess Housing
General                                    Benefit entitlement.

• Providing the tenant with quiet          It will only apply to tenants in the
  enjoyment of their home                  deregulated1 private sector who make
                                           a new claim for Housing Benefit or who
    Tenants right to quiet enjoyment of    change address on or after 7 April 2008.
    their home. When the property is       It is a flat rate allowance towards rent
    rented it becomes the tenant’s         costs based on:
    home. The tenant must be allowed
    ‘quiet enjoyment of the property’.     • The area in which the property is
    This means that you must only visit      located
    the property with the prior            • Who lives with the tenant?
    agreement of your tenant and           • What money they have coming in
    should provide at least 24 hours       • What savings they have
    notice in writing. The exception
    being, emergency repairs only.         LHA is not based on the rent charged
                                           by the landlord so the Housing Benefit
Who will pay the rent and how will         that your tenants receive may be
it be paid?                                higher or lower than the contractual
The tenant is responsible for paying the
rent. Tenants on a low income are          The rate of LHA that tenants receive
entitled to apply for assistance with      will be reviewed annually.
housing benefit. As from April 2008
assessment for housing benefit was         LHA will be based on the number of
changed and the Local Housing              bedrooms a tenant needs, dependent
Allowance was introduced.                  upon the number of people they have

living with them, (We will not accept a     For further information about the LHA
property onto our system if the rent        please visit: www.milton-
exceeds the current LHA).                   keynes.gov.uk/benefits/home.
                                            Alternatively you can contact the
LHA will be paid directly to the tenant,    Benefit Service using the details below:
who will then make arrangements to
pay their rent directly to the landlord.    Tel no: 01908 691691
Customers will no longer be able to         Minicom: 01908 253394
request that their Housing Benefit be       Email:
paid direct to their landlord unless        benefits@milton-keynes.gov.uk
there are exceptional circumstances:        Address:
                                            The Benefits Service,
Some tenants will have problems with        Civic Offices,
the responsibility of paying the rent       1 Saxon Gate East,
themselves. In order to safeguard these     CMK, MK9 3HQ
tenants, the Council will use its
discretion to decide whether there is
evidence that it is in the tenant’s
interest to pay their LHA direct to their

My details

 Full name
 my address

 Landline Tel.No.
 Mobile Tel.No.
 Work Tel.No.
 Email address
 Full address of property (inc post code)

 No. of bedrooms
 Property type
 (described property in as much details as possible) i.e. First floor flat, house with large garden, garage, shed

 Monthly rent required
 We will not take on property if the rent exceeds the Local Housing Rates. See www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/benefits/home

 I have read and fully understand the terms and conditions of the Home Bond Scheme,
 as detailed in this leaflet.
 By agreeing to these terms, and having my property accepted onto the scheme, I
 understand the property details will be placed into the MKC Property Pool and become
 part of a customer’s choice.
 If at any time during the, tenant finding process, I change my mind, rent the property
 myself or via an agency, I agree to inform the Home Bond Team immediately by
 telephoning them on MK 01908 253662.
 I understand that the tenancy will be between me and my tenant and that is my
 responsibility to manage this.


                                                                     Milton Keynes Home Bond Team
                                       Available in audio,
                                       large print, braille and      Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East
                                       other languages.              Central Milton Keynes
                                       01908 253662                  MK9 3EJ

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