There is a much higher demand for social housing in Breckland than there is supply.
There is a pool of available private rented accommodation as well as options to buy your own property and for tenants to move through mutual exchanges.
We can help certain groups of people find private rented accommodation and advise on other options. The sections below give more information
The Council has a duty to assist people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The first priority is to try and prevent people becoming homeless, so it is vital that you contact the Council as early as possible when a housing problem occurs.
The Council operates a homelessness prevention service through their Housing Options Team, who will seek to resolve your housing problems before they reach the point where you lose your home. This may include helping you to stay in your home, negotiating with your householder or landlord to allow you to stay (either permanently or so you can plan to move in an organised way), or to help you to find alternative accommodation through other housing options.
There is wide range of information available on the Breckland Council website which will assist you with any query you may have relating to Homelessness or advice: https://www.breckland.gov.uk/housing
If you are at risk of homelessness or are currently homeless tonight; please follow the link below to complete our Housing Advise Form, alternatively please contact us on 01362 656870.
Private Sector Housing
There are wide range of properties available to rent from private landlords in the Breckland District. These range from houses and bungalows through to flats and bedsits.
Renting from a private landlord is a key housing option to consider if you are looking for alternative accommodation. There are various benefits to renting in the private sector, including:
- Lots of choice over property type, from bedsits through to large houses, location and monthly rent.
- With some landlords you do not have to pay utility bills or council tax
- It is often readily available at short notice
- Private renting is flexible, it can provide a short-term solution, as well as being a long-term accommodation option
- Private tenants have a good range of legal rights and safeguards to protect them
- Many landlords are looking for long-term tenants who will remain in the property for many years to come
There are number of property search sites available, we have provided links to a few below:
All privately rented accommodation must meet minimum standards to be considered to be satisfactory for occupation. Fundamentally, all dwellings should be free from significant hazards to an occupier’s health, safety and welfare, you can find more information on Breckland Councils website using the following link: https://www.breckland.gov.uk/housing-ps-housing-conditions
Additionally before commencement of any tenancy, a prospective occupier is entitled to a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the dwelling, a How to Rent guide and the landlord should be able to produce a copy of the current Gas Safety Certificate, if gas is supplied to the dwelling. As well as this any prospective occupier should receive all the prescribed information for your rent deposit.
If you feel the dwelling you are renting falls below a satisfactory standard, a member of Breckland Councils Private Sector Housing Team can carry out an inspection to ascertain compliance with legislative requirements.
Breckland Councils Private Sector Housing team is available to help landlords and tenants that require advice and assistance with a range of matters relating to the private rented sector.
If you would like more information regarding the condition of your existing rented property, or if you are a landlord who is interested in finding out more about your rights and obligations regarding property and tenant, then please visit the following link: https://www.breckland.gov.uk/housing-private-sector-housing
If you are an existing tenant of a council or housing association, you can find a new home through exchanging your home with another tenant of a council or housing association.
This is called a mutual exchange and can often be a lot quicker than waiting for a transfer. You can look for an exchange anywhere in the district, County or Country.
How does mutual exchange work?
- Find someone who wants to swap with you.
- Arrange to view each other’s homes.
- Apply to your landlord and the other tenant’s landlord for permission to swap. They will normally have forms for you to use for this purpose.
- Your landlord will inspect your property and will request a tenancy report from the other tenant’s landlord.
- Your landlord will inform you within 28 days whether they agree to your exchange.
- If both the landlords involved agree, arrangements will be made by them for you to complete the necessary paperwork. This means assigning the tenancies to you and the other tenant involved.
You will also have to meet some conditions before an exchange can go ahead, such as:
- Not owing any money to the landlord for such things as the rent, rechargeable repairs or any other reason.
- Doing all the repairs that are your responsibility under your tenancy agreement including those for any damages that you have caused.
It is very important that you do not move until you have written permission from your landlord, otherwise you could lose your home and then have nowhere to live.
Reasons landlords could refuse permission for an exchange
Landlords will not give permission for a mutual exchange to go ahead if:
- They have started taking legal action against you for breaking a condition of your tenancy agreement.
- If the property you are looking to move to is too big or too small for your household.
- The property is adapted for a tenant with disabilities and you do not need these adaptations.
- The property you wish to move to is not let on an assured or secure tenancy by another housing association or council.
- The property is designated for letting to certain groups, such as to persons over 60 years old, and you do not meet this restriction.
- The property has local connection criteria which you do not meet this.
Help to find an exchange
If you wish, you can register on the Home Exchange scheme by clicking on the following link to their website: www.houseexchange.org.uk
You can use this site to find another property you would like to exchange your property for and also your property will be advertised here for other tenants to see. This is a free service for tenants of landlords who are members of the service. If your landlord is not a member, then a small registration fee will be charged.
For further information on mutual exchanges or assistance with registration on the Home Exchange website you should contact your landlord.
It is very important to remember that you will require your landlord's permission to exchange.
Housing Benefit information and advice is provided by The Anglia Revenues Partnership which is a partnership between Breckland Council, Forest Heath Council, East Cambs Council and St Edmundsbury Council.
Your new landlord may provide forms for you to complete for Housing and Council Tax Benefit, but it is your responsibility to ensure you make the appropriate claim.
For further information about Housing and Council Tax Benefits visit the Anglia Revenues Partnership website at: www.angliarevenues.gov.uk
The Department for Work and Pensions promotes opportunity and independence for all through modern, customer-focused services. They help people to achieve their potential through employment, so that they are able to provide for their children and to work and save for secure retirement. For further information visit their website at: www.direct.gov.uk
For other benefits, such as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit, contact your local Job Centre. For further information visit their website at www.direct.gov.uk or telephone 0800 055 6688 to make a claim.
To make an enquiry about pension credit, please call 0800 731 0469. To make a claim for Pension Credit, please telephone 0800 99 1234 or if you wish to visit the Pension Service website, please go to www.direct.gov.uk