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Private rent assistance

Information for landlords

This scheme helps private sector landlords to rent their properties. Since April 2007, the law has required that all deposits be protected in a government-authorised scheme.

Wiltshire Council has created the WiltsLet Scheme, in which the council will hold the equivalent of up to four weeks’ rent as the deposit and we will issue you as the landlord with a ‘Deposit Guarantee’. This alleviates the requirement for the deposit having to be registered and ensures you will not fall foul of the legislation.

In addition to providing a deposit, we will also assist you if necessary by providing one month’s rent in advance. This amount is returnable to Wiltshire Council at the end of the tenancy, unless rent arrears have accrued at which point a copy of the rent account will be required. You will be asked to show that you have taken reasonable steps to recover the arrears.


The Housing Options Officer will be your main point of contact and will:

  • Meet you at the property to identify what tenants would best suit the property and to ensure the standard of the property is suitable for letting
  • Help to find a tenant for your property
  • Conduct viewings
  • Provide a tenancy agreement (if required)
  • Carry out the sign up
  • Complete an inventory which will need to be signed by both you and the tenant
  • Assist you in visiting the property if you are experiencing any problems with the tenant.

We offer the above advice and assistance totally free of charge.


The following will be covered up to the value of the deposit:

  • Damage to the property e.g. doors, walls, windows.
  • Damage to fixtures and fittings
  • Cleaning of stains and excessive dirt
  • Cleaning of cookers and bathrooms up to the value of £150
  • Rent arrears where there is evidence that the landlord has taken reasonable steps to try and recover the arrears
  • In exceptional circumstances, the removal of rubbish
  • Unpaid bills, e.g. utility bills
  • General wear and tear
  • Damage to communal areas
  • Gas and/pr electricity meter charges
  • Personal debts owed to the landlord by the tenant
  • End of tenancy cleaning

Any charges not covered by the deposit will need to be claimed directly from the tenant by you.


If you would like to be part of the WiltsLet Scheme or require more information, please contact the Housing Options team.


No tenants should be moved into a property until the Housing Options Officer has agreed to the WiltsLet Scheme and all relevant paperwork has been completed.

You will be required to sign a landlord’s agreement to confirm that you understand the terms and conditions of the WiltsLet Scheme.

Wiltshire Council introduces potential tenants, but you must carry out the appropriate checks that you would normally carry out before offering a tenancy.


Information for prospective WiltsLet applicants

Helping people to find homes

It’s a scheme to help people on low incomes, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, secure private rented accommodation when they are without the necessary funds to do so. Financial assistance may be given to cover the cost of a deposit and/or rent in advance. Instead of providing cash for a deposit, we give a written bond to the landlord, which can be called upon at the end of the tenancy to cover any costs incurred in respect of damage beyond reasonable wear and tear or rent arrears during the term of the tenancy.


To be eligible for the scheme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be homeless or facing homelessness.
  • Be eligible for assistance in regards to your immigration status.
  • Be unable to access the funds from alternative sources.
  • Have a local connection to Wiltshire.

To be considered, you need to meet with a member of our Housing Options Team who can discuss the scheme in more detail and advise you if you are eligible. We will be looking at whether there are other ways you could fund the costs – including whether you have savings or other income to use or whether you could get help from other sources, such as occupational benevolent grants or grant making organisations.
You will also need to give us supporting information including:

  • Evidence of your identity such as passport or driving licence, birth or marriage certificate.
  • Your last 2 months building society, bank or post office statements of any accounts you hold.
  • Proof of your address and circumstances – such as a valid notice.
  • Proof if you have children – such as proof of child benefit.

We will confirm your eligibility in writing and you should wait for this BEFORE you find a property. We may tell you about properties we know of, but we will also expect you to be proactive to find your own accommodation. You can look in the local papers, contact letting agents, check online at websites such as www.rightmove.co.uk or even look at adverts in newsagent’s windows.
Once you find something you think is right for you and affordable (your Housing Adviser will give you details of this), you must tell us straight away and we will contact the landlord or agent to confirm the details. You must check, however, that they will agree to accept the bond instead of a cash deposit to avoid later disappointment. We will arrange to view the property to check it is suitable and meets a decent home standard. All monies paid will be directly to the new landlord so we will need to confirm that they are happy to sign up to work with the scheme.
We will also need to carry out an affordability assessment to check that you can afford the rent and other living costs associated with living in the property and you will need to agree with this. We will not help you if we think that the property you have found is either unsuitable or unaffordable so please check with us at every stage. Our role is to help you into appropriate and sustainable accommodation and if it doesn’t do this, we will not assist you. Do not put any holding money down or sign any agreement until we have confirmed we are helping you into your chosen property. We do not offer this scheme retrospectively once you have moved in or signed an agreement and there is no automatic right to help.


Your adviser will tell you what help we can give but generally it is a bond equivalent to one month’s rental costs. We can also, in certain circumstances, help with the rent in advance.


As a tenant, you have an obligation to pay the rent and keep your property in good condition. If, when you leave, your landlord wants to make a claim against the bond, he must write to us and allow us to inspect the property. We will agree what we think is a fair amount but we reserve the right to claim any costs incurred back from you and this will form a housing related debt in respect of any Homes 4 Wiltshire application you have with Homes 4 Wiltshire. An unaddressed housing related debt will prevent you being considered by for social housing so it is important that you take responsibility for your tenancy and ensure you meet your obligations under the agreement you sign.


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Last updated: 30 April 2018 | Last reviewed: 30 April 2018