The Zero Deposit Guarantee is an innovative deposit replacement scheme designed to make renting faster, fairer and more affordable. Find out how Zero Deposit works and learn how it can benefit letting agents.
What is a Zero Deposit Scheme?
What does deposit replacement scheme mean?
With the Zero Deposit Guarantee the tenant pays a fee to cover the landlord against financial loss, instead of making a cash deposit. Tenants pay the equivalent of one week’s rent at the start of the tenancy and, if they continue to live at the property, they will also pay a £26 annual admin fee. The landlord is covered for six weeks’ rent, and any end-of-tenancy disputes are handled by The Dispute Service (TDS): a trusted, independent dispute resolution service. Tenants who owe rent or are liable for damage must pay the landlord. If they do not, following a decision by TDS, Zero Deposit steps in, pays the landlord and recovers the money from the tenant.
What does the Zero Deposit Guarantee mean for letting agents?
Working with Zero Deposit saves you time, attracts tenants, protects landlords and gives you a competitive edge in the marketplace. Properties where the no deposit option is offered are more appealing to tenantsᐩ, while landlords appreciate the extra financial protection provided by the scheme, which covers the cost of six weeks’ rent instead of the usual five. As a Zero Deposit estate agent you will also earn commission for every introduction that leads to a Zero Deposit Guarantee purchase. Find out more about becoming a partner by going to our Agents section.
ᐩProperties advertised with Zero Deposit on Zoopla achieved a higher click-through rate than those advertised without Zero Deposit. In particular, one bedroom properties achieved a click-through rate 26% higher when advertised with Zero Deposit compared to those without. Data was provided by Oakfield Estate Agents Limited
What is covered by the Zero Deposit insurance?
The FCA-backed Zero Deposit Guarantee provides cover against financial loss or damage suffered by the landlord, including unpaid rent or damage to the property for which the tenant is liable for under the AST. The cover, provided by industry leader Munich Re, is the equivalent of six weeks’ rent (which is more than the five-weeks’ cover offered under a traditional cash deposit arrangement). Any end-of-tenancy disputes are handled by The Dispute Service (TDS); following their decision, Zero Deposit will pay the landlord and recover the money from the tenant.
Why should I offer a no deposit option to my tenants and landlords?
Tenants are attracted to a deposit replacement scheme because it allows them to move in more quickly, without having to save or wait for their previous deposit to clear. It also gives them access to much-needed funds that would otherwise be locked away in a cash deposit. Landlords experience fewer void periods, have access to a wider range of tenants and are covered for six weeks’ rent under the scheme. If a dispute is settled in their favour, landlords are refunded within 2 days. Both tenants and landlords appreciate having less admin to deal with at the start of the tenancy.
How does the Zero Deposit option it work?
How do I become a Zero Deposit approved partner agent?
If you’d like to join the 2,200 plus businesses who have chosen to become Zero Deposit partner agents, simply visit the Agent section of our website and click on “Get Started”, after which you’ll be asked to submit a few details. Once you’ve sent your partnership enquiry, we’ll be in touch as soon as possible with more information about joining Zero Deposit.
What’s in it for my landlord?
By giving you the potential to attract a wider audience of tenants, you can increase demand for the landlord’s property and reduce the time taken to rent.
What is the maximum value of the cover?
The maximum sum covered is the equivalent of 6 weeks’ rent.
What is covered?
A Zero Deposit Guarantee provides cover for the landlord against financial loss or damages suffered by the landlord which the tenant is liable for under the AST.
Do you offer Zero Deposit Guarantees on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)?
Do we still need to collect a deposit?
No, the Zero Deposit Guarantee replaces the need for a tenancy deposit, giving the landlord security and protection but without the hassle of collecting a traditional deposit.
What are the costs involved?
Who pays for the Zero Deposit Guarantee?
The Zero Deposit Guarantee is paid for by your tenant. The tenant pays Zero Deposit a non-returnable fee, which is the equivalent of one week’s rent, followed by an annual admin charge of £26 if they remain in your property. Although you will be covered for six weeks rent at the end of the tenancy, there are no associated costs for landlords who offer a zero deposit rental property.
How much does a Zero Deposit Guarantee cost?
The initial cost of the Zero Deposit Guarantee for the tenant is the equivalent of one week’s rent. The Zero Deposit Guarantee is automatically renewed on an annual basis. On renewal, the tenant also pays an annual administration fee of £26 which covers the cost of managing the Zero Deposit Guarantee. Where there is a change of tenant under an existing Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, the new incoming tenant will need to pay a £40 fee to be added to the Zero Deposit Guarantee.
How much does it cost to cancel?
There is no cancellation fee. Only the tenant can cancel and only within the statutory 14 day cooling off period after purchasing the Zero Deposit Guarantee.
Can I earn money for introducing tenants?
Our Partner Agents earn a commission for every introduction that leads to a Zero Deposit Guarantee purchase. To find out about becoming a partner contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How does the claims process work?
How does a landlord make a claim?
A claim can be made in two ways:
If a landlord believes there is any financial loss or damage suffered by them under their assured shorthold tenancy agreement, and they have failed to reach a settlement directly with their tenant, they can notify us of this and request to make a claim.
If at the end of the tenancy we become aware that the tenant has not made payment to the landlord in settlement of any financial loss or damage, we will deem them to have made a claim.
What if a claim is challenged by a tenant?
We always encourage settlement by negotiation. Where the tenant disputes a claim, we will ask the landlord and the tenant to provide evidence to support their claim and we will pass the claim and the evidence to our expert evaluation partner, The Dispute Service (TDS). TDS will review the claim and determine whether the tenant is liable for any financial loss or damage under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and, if so, the amount due to the landlord.
How will tenants and landlords know that a dispute over a claim will be resolved fairly?
Disputes are handled by The Dispute Service (TDS), the longest running tenancy deposit protection scheme in the UK, which enables us to provide a highly experienced and professional service to our customers. All TDS adjudicators belong to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and comply with their Adjudicator Code of Conduct, which is available on the TDS website. The adjudicators make decisions based on the issues in dispute and the evidence provided.
Other agent FAQ's
Can I make Zero Deposit the only option on tenancies?
No. It is the landlord’s choice whether to allow the Zero Deposit Guarantee as an option in place of a traditional tenancy deposit. If the landlord does want to offer the Zero Deposit Guarantee as an option, tenants must still always be offered a choice to either pay a traditional tenancy deposit or purchase a Zero Deposit Guarantee.
Can I be confident that a Zero Deposit Guarantee protects my landlords?
Yes. Zero Deposit Guarantees are provided by Great Lakes Insurance SE, which is regulated by the German Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority which means there are safeguards in place to help ensure landlords and tenants get a fair and transparent product with no hidden risks. We have partnered with The Dispute Service (TDS) to help ensure fair outcomes for landlords and tenants in the event of a dispute.
Will Zero Deposit ever request my password or other security details?
We will never ask for your password or login details. If you receive any request for this information, kindly report it to us at email@example.com
Ensure you do not use a password that can be easily guessed and never use the same password for multiple websites for which you are registered to use. Be minimalist with the amount of personal information you share about yourself online, to help reduce your risk of identity theft and fraud. Always update your computer, tablet and smartphone’s operating system and web browser software. We recommend you use anti-virus software to protect your devices.