Since Beam launched we’ve seen a number of people use the income and credit history from their new job to move into privately rented accommodation. As such, we want to see if we can use the flexible nature of Beam to accelerate the move for those who need it. Depending on a person's circumstances, this move could happen before or after they enter work.
People who join Beam often live in temporary accommodation, hostels or are sofa-surfing which is not always conducive to entering training and employment. In cases where a person requests support accessing the private rented sector, we crowdfund their rental deposit and first month's rent alongside employment training. This enables a person to move into stable accommodation so that they have a better chance at succeeding. Additionally, it removes the financial barrier of entering the private rented sector.
The rental deposit is usually paid by the tenant to the landlord, to help protect the landlord against possible financial loss. In this case, Beam will pay the deposit directly to the landlord. This is refunded to Beam when the lease ends unless the tenant has failed to pay rent or has damaged the property. Money owed is deducted from the rental deposit and the balance is refunded to Beam. If the landlord has deducted money from the deposit for a valid reason, Beam will seek gradual re-payments from the person involved. All rental deposit balances returned to Beam and any excesses not spent will be reallocated to live campaigns.
The money raised is usually the first month's rent and the deposit (5 weeks' rent). The specific amount is based on the size of the accommodation the person is entitled to and not more than the maximum London local housing allowance decided by the government. A person's accommodation entitlement is dependent on his/her support needs, age and family size. Many of the people who join Beam are entitled to at least a 1-bed flat due to their circumstances. We do our best to find suitable properties for the person, which means that they may sometimes remain within their local, more expensive boroughs, so that they can be close to their support services.
We always check that the properties are affordable and within the person's budget, both before and after they enter work. This is to ensure that they can sustain their tenancy both while on benefits and after they enter work.