SPEAR’s Tenancy Finder service finds private rented flats across South West London for our clients. Some of these clients are rough sleeping, some come from our Richmond hostel, and some have been supported by our Tenancy Support team – the thing they all have in common is that their support needs are low and they are able to manage a tenancy.
Over the last 2 ½ years we have built up relationships with local landlords and have housed approximately 50 people through the Tenancy Finder service. Landlords know that working with us means there are no commissions or fees to pay, Housing Benefit is paid directly to them, and often the tenant will want to stay long-term. There are also benefits for the tenant as they don’t have to pay a deposit or month’s rent in advance, they will have a landlord who is willing to rent to someone on Housing Benefit (this can be hard to find), and they are supported by the Tenancy Finder team.
I work right through the rental process from finding the property, taking the client on viewings, filling in the pre-tenancy paperwork (such as a Housing Benefit application and the Tenancy Agreement), and maintaining the relationship between the landlord and tenant by being the first point of contact for any disputes or disagreements. I also refer clients onto other SPEAR services such as Job Club.
One client I worked with was Tony who was rough sleeping at Heathrow airport. He had recently lost his wife and was having a number of personal issues and struggling to manage with his bereavement.
Tony met the Outreach team and then spent time at the hostel in Richmond as well as a second stage project where he was monitored to ensure that he was managing and had the right level of support.
Once it was established that he was progressing and engaging with SPEAR, Tony was put forward for the Tenancy Finder service as it was determined that he could manage independently. Tony was housed within the Twickenham area, in a lovely one bedroom flat, which two years on he is still living in. In addition to that, Tony has managed to come off of benefits and is now working… at the airport…
We are always looking for new landlords to work with us; if you would be interested in this please contact Chetan@spearlondon.org or call 020 7036 9771.
Chetan, Tenancy Finder