What is private rental?
As well as social housing, we offer a small number of homes for private rent (or market rent). These are properties which are available on the open market at standard rates.
Why rent from us
We’ve been providing affordable homes in Gravesham for almost 60 years. We provide a first class repairs and maintenance service and have a high customer satisfaction rating. We also invite our tenants to give us regular feedback so we can keep making our services better.
Who can apply
You will qualify for one of our homes if you:
- Do not currently own a property
- Have confirmed immigation status (if not a British national), either hold a British passport or have leave to remain, and are eligible for public funds
- Are not in breach of a previous tenant or occupancy agreement or have behaved unacceptably, for example, failure to pay rent or anti-social behaviour
- Do not have access to, or an interest in, any other home you could live in
- Meet the household criteria for the size and type of home
- Are in full time employment and meet the initial affordability criteria
Exceptions will only be made in agreement with our Chief Executive.
Shortlisting, referencing and making an offer
- We will carry out an affordability assessment to see if you can meet the proposed rent. This is a guideline calculation to see if you can afford the monthly payments based on a third of your net income being available for rent. You will not be shortlisted if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria.
- We’ll shortlist the applicant and invite up to four households to view the property
- We will verify your application (following General Data Protection Rules), check references and do a credit history check before making a provisional offer.
- Once an offer has been made, subject to referencing, we don’t accept further applications unless the current offer is declined or withdrawn. In these circumstances we would offer the home to the next applicant, based on the date of who applied first.
If you make a joint application for a tenancy, both of you must complete the referencing and be named on the tenancy agreement. This applies to couples, partners and two single people sharing a home.
Deposits and fees
We ask for the equivalent of one month’s rent as a deposit, which you need to pay before signing the tenancy agreement. We hold the deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme and return it at the end of the tenancy, as long as you have left your home in a good condition.
You will also need to pay one month’s rent in advance before we will give you a tenancy agreement to sign. All future payments must be made by direct debit or standing order.
Tenant Fees Act and redress schemes
We comply with the Tenant Fees Act (TFA) which applies to tenancies which started from 1 June 2019. We do this by charging no more than five weeks’ deposit and not charging any fees associated with starting a tenancy, its administration or ending it. You will only pay rent (and in some cases service charge for services to your home or the block/estate).
We are a member of the Housing Ombudsman, The Housing Ombudsman Service and the Property Ombudsman redress schemes, which operate for the benefit of landlords and tenants.
Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS)
We use the DPS to keep your deposit safe on behalf of letting agents, landlords and tenants. They are authorised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide tenancy deposit protection in England and Wales.