Rent deposit, bond and guarantee schemes

If you don't have money for a tenancy deposit, check if there's a rent deposit, rent guarantee or bond scheme that can help.

How a rent deposit scheme works

A rent deposit scheme could help if you can't afford a tenancy deposit to rent from a private landlord.

Rent deposit schemes offer loans to be used as deposits. Usually, the scheme lends you the money in advance. You pay it back in instalments from your wages or benefits.

Rent deposit schemes are usually run by a local council or housing association or sometimes by a charity.

If you pay a deposit to your landlord, they must usually protect it with a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Your landlord doesn't have to protect your deposit if you are a lodger. 

You should get your deposit back after you leave if you:

  • have paid all your rent 
  • haven’t damaged the property

How a rent guarantee or bond scheme works

Bond schemes or rent guarantee schemes are usually run by a council, housing association or charity. Instead of a cash deposit, they give a written guarantee to your landlord to cover losses due to unpaid rent or damage. 

When your tenancy ends, your landlord can ask them to pay for rent you didn't pay or damage you caused.

When you sign up to a guaranteed rent or bond scheme, you usually have to agree to repay any money the scheme provider has to pay your landlord. 

Find a local scheme

For information about local rent deposit schemes and similar services:

Schemes run by local councils and housing associations often provide help to homeless families.

Schemes run by charities offer help to certain groups of people such as families with young children, single homeless people with alcohol or drug problems, ex-offenders or people with a history of rough sleeping.

Last updated 15 Jan 2019 | © Shelter

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