Asylum seekers are considered at risk of homelessness. Once you’ve had a positive decision on your asylum application, you may be contacted by the Housing Solutions team, who can help you put your application for a house in straight away.
All homelessness applications are currently being done by phone. You can get in touch with the Housing Solutions team by calling 01642 726800 or on the help with homelessness page.
Different types of landlords (people or companies who own properties)
- Social housing, which is available through landlords like Thirteen and Compass
- Private housing, where you may have to pay a deposit up front, as well as an administration fee
- Open Door North East, a local charity
Tenant rights and responsibilities
Generally, as a tenant you must do things like:
- pay your rent on time (rent is usually paid in advance, weekly or monthly)
- pay your bills for gas, water, and electricity on time
- take care of the property you are staying in
Landlord rights and responsibilities
A landlord must:
- give you a rent book/receipt which confirms how much rent you have paid
- give you a written Statement of Tenancy Terms within 28 days of the start of the tenancy
- give you warning if they want you to leave the property
- look after any gas and electrical appliances which come with the house e.g. the fridge, radiators
- give you privacy
The duties of a landlord (and your rights as a tenant) can vary, depending on the type of arrangement or 'tenancy' you have.
Types of tenancy can be complicated, so it is important you know what kind you have, and what is expected of you before you sign up. Find out about the different kinds of tenancy.
If a landlord wants money from you in advance ('a deposit'), they must use an approved tenancy deposit scheme. This makes sure tenants get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy. You should check to make sure that the landlord is using this scheme.
Living in a shared house
If you live in a house with 4 or more people who are not related to you, and you share a kitchen, bathroom or lounge with them, then you live in a licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Your landlord is responsible for getting an HMO licence.
If you are at immediate risk of becoming homeless, Middlesbrough Council's Housing Solutions team can find temporary emergency accommodation for you. Once the next suitable property becomes available, they may offer it to you as a 'final offer'. If you refuse that property, your emergency accommodation arrangements may be ended.
Where can I get furniture?
Help is available to make sure you have furniture and other things for inside your house. This includes:
- Community Support Grant: the Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager can help you apply for this
- Thirteen Housing: if you rented through them, they may have some white goods (for example, fridge, washing machine) available
- Avenue Methodist Church, which is open on a Wednesday morning
- Frade: offers cheap (not free) furniture
- Refugee Integration Loan: the Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager can help you complete the relevant form
Utilities and other bills
'Utilities' are the things you need to keep your home running, like energy (gas and electricity) and water.
Once you have found a property, you should get in touch with Middlesbrough Environment City. They can help you to make sure that you have the most affordable energy provider, and that you use your energy properly.
If you experience fuel poverty, you can contact Middlesbrough and Stockton MIND for further help. Fuel poverty means you can't afford to pay your energy bills, so you can't keep your house warm.
If you want to watch television in your house, you must also apply and pay for a television license.
Your Council Tax is a very important bill. If you do not pay your Council Tax, you risk going to jail.
How much Council Tax you have to pay depends on how much your property is worth. This is called the Council Tax 'band'. You can find out what your Council Tax band is by looking up your postcode. It will be a letter between A and H. Once you know your band, you can find out how much your Council Tax will cost.
You might be able to apply to reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay. The Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager can help you with this.