Housing & Accommodation

There are three main providers of rented accommodation: private landlords, local councils and housing associations

Private Landlords

Private landlords rent out their properties at market rates. They are usually represented by letting agents, but sometimes you will deal directly with your landlord.

You must sign a tenancy agreement with your landlord, which you must read carefully before agreeing to it. Check your tenancy agreement contains a reasonable notice period. Most tenancy agreements provide a minimum 28 day notice period to end the tenancy agreement. This does not apply if you have agreed a fixed term tenancy with your landlord.

The landlord will require a month rent in advance and a deposit, which is usually a minimum of one months rent which can be redeemed once you leave the property as long as there has been no damage or default in your rent payment. Rent is normally paid on a monthly basis at the beginning of each month. Sometimes the rent includes all utility bills such as electricity/gas/oil, but often you will be requires to pay for them separately.

Every time you make a payment to your landlord ask for a receipt.

Make sure the tenancy agreement states

  • How much the deposit is and who holds it
  • When the money can be deducted from the deposit
  • When you will get your deposit back
  • A list of all contents in the house (called an inventory) - including items of furniture and their condition.

Local Council

Contact your local authority and put your name down on their housing list. You will be ranked according to priority and when suitable accommodation becomes available you will be contacted.

Housing Associations/ Registered Social Landlords (RSL)

Housing associations provide accommodation to those most in need. Like a Local Council, a housing association prioritises people on its waiting list according to need and demand.

To get a full list of Housing Associations across the country including the North West region look at the Housing Corporation website on www.housingcorp.gov.uk/server.php?show=nav.489

Homeless Link

Homeless Link is a useful link to housing associations who work specifically with A8 migrant workers

Background

When the European Union expanded in May 2004 certain limitations were placed on the entitlements of citizens from 8 out of 10 of the accession countries i.e. Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Nationals from these so-called Accession 8 ( A8 ) countries can come to the UK to work but they have limited access to social provisions and benefits. In the last 2 years the number of people from these countries entering the UK has increased.

Many of Homeless Link's members, especially in London, have reported an increase in the number of homeless clients from A8 countries. The influx of these clients has placed an additional strain on resources for many agencies. Homelessness organisations also find it difficult to support clients because of language barriers or because if they are not working and registered on the workers registration scheme they are often not entitled to housing benefits, which are needed to access accommodation.

Project

Homeless Link is undertaking a new project to raise awareness and better understand the issues faced by A8 nationals who are homeless and the agencies responding to the needs of this group. As part of this work we are doing a snapshot survey with questionnaires for London day centers, outreach teams and night shelters. This work will form the basis of the good practice, policy and campaigning work we plan to develop to address the needs of these clients and to support the agencies working with them. We are also hoping to identify examples of good practice and initiatives around working with A8 nationals, through follow-on interviews with providers who have developed specialized services.

For further information contact Linda Briheim-Crookall on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 020 7960 3043

Buying a property

Estate Agents can advise you on properties for Sale. They are normally situated on the high street, but can be found in the Yellow pages or on the internet.

In order to view a property that you like, contact an Estate Agent and they will show you round.

When you decide on the property you would like to buy, you must instruct a solicitor who will prepare the legal agreement. For information on loans to buy a property, contact banks and estate agents
Register with the Electricity, Gas and Water companies

As soon as you move into your new property you must contact your gas, electricity and water provider and tell them the date you moved in and if necessary provide them with a meter reading. This prevents you being charged for the previous tenants bills. Your landlord will be able to provide the contact details of each necessary service provider.

There are different methods of paying for your bills, including direct debit, which means the money is automatically transferred from your bank, posting a cheque, paying over the phone with a credit or debit card or paying with cash through a payment card at a Post Office or Pay Point outlet.



Research into housing needs of migrant workers in Bolton

The University of Salford is carrying out research into housing for migrant workers. If you have had problems finding housing, or there have been problems with the housing available to you, and you would be willing to talk to the researcher please contact Jennifer Hills on 0161 295 2927

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