Landlords usually ask tenants to pay rent at the start of the month. This means that you may have to pay a month's rent in advance as well as a deposit before you move in to your accommodation. You may be able to get help to cover this rent in advance.
Rent is money paid by tenants to landlords in return for living in their accommodation. It is normally paid weekly or monthly, although it can be paid for other periods such as four weekly or quarterly. When tenancies start, landlords often ask for the first month or week's rent to be paid before it is due. This is rent in advance.
Housing benefit is paid in arrears and doesn't help you pay for rent in advance. You may get money from the Housing Executive if your housing benefit isn't paid within 14 days of your application. This is known as an interim payment. You can find out more about interim payments of housing benefit on our main site.
You may be able to extend your housing benefit by four weeks if:
You will get the same housing benefit for a further four weeks.
Anyone can apply for a loan from the social fund to help pay for rent in advance. It isn't easy to get a loan as there is a limited amount of money available for loans. An adviser can:
There are two different types of interest-free loan that can help you pay rent in advance:
It is difficult to get decisions about the social fund changed. If you are not happy with any decision made on your application and want to ask for a review, get advice immediately.
You can ask the Social Security Agency to review its decision. You must:
If you are still unhappy with the decision, you can ask the Social Fund Inspector to look at your application for rent in advance. The Social Fund Inspector is independent and can change the Social Security Agency's decision if it was wrong. Find out more about contacting the Social Fund Inspector.
EachRent Deposit & Rent Guarantee Scheme has its own rules. However, most of these work by giving your landlord a guarantee that the scheme will pay any money you owe when you leave. If the landlord says that you owe money the scheme will investigate, and pay the landlord.
If the scheme decides that your landlord is entitled to compensation, you will probably be asked to pay back any money it has paid out.