Rent deposit, bond and guarantee schemes

Check if a local rent deposit, bond or guarantee scheme can help if you need to pay a deposit for a private rented home.

Find a local scheme

Contact your local council to find out about schemes in your area. 

The housing department may have its own scheme. Or they may know of services run by local housing associations or charities.

Use the Crisis Help to Rent Database to search for a local scheme

How the schemes work

Rent deposit, bond or guarantee schemes are run by councils, housing associations and charities.

Who can get help

Most schemes are aimed at people who are homeless or facing homelessness.

Many have specific target groups, for example:

  • young people under the age of 35
  • people with drug or alcohol problems
  • rough sleepers or people living in hostels

Bond and guarantee schemes

Bond schemes or rent guarantee schemes give private landlords a written guarantee instead of a cash deposit. 

If you don't pay rent or damage the property, the scheme covers the landlord's losses up to a certain amount.

You usually have to repay any money the scheme provider has to pay out to your landlord.

Rent deposit schemes

Rent deposit schemes provide interest free 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.

Other ways to get help with a deposit

You can apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) from the council if you get housing benefit or the universal credit housing element where you live now.

If you get a DHP for a deposit it may be paid direct to your new landlord.

You don't have to repay a DHP.


Last updated 16 Sep 2019 | © Shelter

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