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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Friday, 9 September 2011 14:57 UK

Money Box Live: Renting and letting

"To Let" sign in a house window
BBC Radio 4's Money Box Live
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 at 1502 BST On Radio 4 and Online

There's a shortage of properties to rent, according to the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and this is driving up rents.

Meanwhile, there have been big changes in the way tenants claiming housing benefit are now assessed.

Since April this year new claimants face caps on the maximum weekly rate of local housing allowance they are entitled to. The calculation is based on the number of bedrooms in the household.

The new weekly limits are: £250 for a one bedroom property; £290 for a two bedroom property; £340 for a three bedroom property; and £400 for a four bedroom property. If you are already claiming more than this, your local housing allowance will be gradually reduced.

If you are struggling to find somewhere to rent what are your best options?

If you're thinking of becoming a landlord how do you prepare a property?

Who is responsible for house repairs and maintenance?

If you are a tenant and claiming benefits how will you now be assessed for local housing allowance?

What are the rules for landlords and tenants when a deposit is paid at the start of the let?

What are reasonable grounds for a landlord or letting agency to refuse to hand back a deposit at the end of a let?

Vincent Duggleby was joined by:

Chris Town, Residential Landlords Association

Liz Dann, housing advisor, Citizens Advice

Dominic Preston, barrister with Doughty Street Chambers

Presenter: Vincent Duggleby
Producer: Fiona Woods




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09 Sep 11 |  Moneybox

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