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Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Landlords of privately rented accommodation may require a deposit before agreeing to a tenancy. The deposit covers the cost of any damage done to the property while the tenant is living there. The deposit will be the equivalent of a maximum of one months’ rent.

Some tenants want to rent privately but cannot afford to pay a deposit. The Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme helps people on low incomes to rent privately by guaranteeing to pay the damage deposit, should a genuine claim be made by the landlord.

Who is eligible?

Prospective tenants must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and able to provide evidence of one of the following:

  • on a low income (qualifying criteria apply)
  • eligible for Housing Benefit
  • unable to raise the full rent deposit by own means
  • have difficulty in accessing social housing
  • able to sustain a tenancy with reasonable housing support
  • must have a local connection

Who is not eligible?

Prospective tenants will not be eligible if they have:

  • rent arrears on previous tenancies
  • have a history of anti-social behaviour
  • other reasons that may jeopardise access to a tenancy

How long is the deposit guarantee for?

For a minimum six month tenancy agreement.

What does the deposit guarantee cover?

The deposit guarantee will cover a maximum of one months' rent for loss or damage to the property or any items on the inventory caused by the tenant, and not covered by household insurance.

What will not be covered by the deposit guarantee?

It will not cover:

  • normal cleaning costs - tenants should ensure that the property is left in an acceptable condition
  • damage to communal areas
  • criminal damage
  • items covered by normal household contents insurance
  • rent arrears

What do landlords need to do to take part in the scheme?

To take part in the scheme, landlords are expected to meet a range of good practice criteria. They must:

  • provide a legally binding, written tenancy agreement
  • provide the tenant with a rent book/statement
  • ensure the accommodation is suitable for the size of the household
  • ensure the property is in good repair and condition
  • maintain the structure and exterior of the property
  • not have any convictions for illegal evictions or harassment
  • supply a current energy performance certificate
  • supply a current gas certificate
  • supply an agreed inventory

Finding a property

Once the tenant has found a suitable property, he or she can contact the landlord direct or contact our Housing Needs team, who will talk to the landlord on the tenant’s behalf, providing details of the scheme.

Prospective tenants must not commit themselves to a tenancy until an inspection has been made and all the paper work received and completed otherwise they will become ineligible for the scheme.

Ending the tenancy

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and the tenant should inspect the property. An officer from the council can attend the inspection, if requested by either party. If a claim is made against the damage deposit, this will be recharged to the tenant.

Can the scheme be used more than once?

Yes, tenants can use the scheme again, however, they will not be considered if they have breached a condition of the tenancy or caused damage to a rented property.