Can I rent without a guarantor?

I have to move out of my flat and I'm having real problems renting another home. My landlord is selling our current home and both my partner and I are unable to work and survive on benefits. Added to this, my partner recently went bankrupt so only my name will go on any tenancy we agree to. We're unable to work for health reasons and, although the council said they had a duty to find us housing, all they could offer was bed and breakfast accommodation. Because we're both ill we can't really live in a B&B as it would make our health problems worse. The council suggested agencies we could rent through but when we found a property the agency ran a credit check and are now insisting I find a guarantor - something I just can't do. I get housing benefit so I don't understand why this matters. Is there anything I can do to get round this? Please help us.

We’re sorry you’re having problems finding a home; it can be difficult to find letting agents that will take you on when you’re claiming benefits. If the lettings agent is insisting on a guarantor being available it might be worth going back to the council to see if they can assist with this situation.

Unfortunately, if you can’t get a guarantor and the lettings agent won’t back down then you might have to try elsewhere. Dealing directly with private landlords can sometimes mean you avoid these problems.

You’ve also said the council have admitted they have a legal duty to house you. If you’ve made a homelessness application the council should provide somewhere that is suitable for your needs when you have to leave your current home. If you don’t feel that bed and breakfast accommodation is suitable for you, you may be able to challenge this. You may need the help of a local advice agency such as Housing Aid Centre or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau(CAB) to do this.

You may also be able to get access to a guarantee rent or bond scheme which can help you with the extra costs of renting and guarantor requirements.

It might be a good idea to get help and support now because a local advice agency might also be able to provide details of private landlords who would be willing to take you on.

Answered by Shelter on 20-Mar-2014

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