Care leavers

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5. Private rented

There are different types of tenancy that may be offered to you but the most likely is an assured shorthold tenancy (this will usually have a fixed-term of 6 months). Normally the landlord or letting agent will ask for one month's rent in advance and a deposit. Your Personal Advisor may be able to help you with the cost of the deposit and pay your first month’s rent.

If you rent privately, you will also need to think about furniture if the accommodation is unfurnished. Speak to your Personal Advisor as they may be able to help you with some additional items for your home.

As a care leaver, you will be exempt from the Shared Room rates of Housing Benefit until your 22nd birthday. It is therefore important you have planned how you will be able to afford your rent when you reach 22 years old. This may be through Housing Benefits as you are still in full time education or through your income from employment.

Guarantor

When you rent privately you may need a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who vouches for you legally and agrees to be responsible for your rental costs if you fail to make payments. If you need a guarantor Social Services can undertake an assessment to see if you can cope both financially, emotionally and be responsible for your own accommodation. If the assessment advises that you are ready and able, Devon County Council as your corporate parent, may act as guarantor. Alternatively a friend or family member may agree to act as a guarantor.