Zero Deposit is a deposit replacement scheme designed to cut the upfront cost of renting, speed up admin processes and reduce void periods. Discover how the Zero Deposit option works, who pays for it and how it can benefit landlords.
What is a Zero Deposit Scheme?
What does the Zero Deposit Guarantee mean for landlords?
With a Zero Deposit Guarantee, the tenant sign up process will be faster, you could experience fewer void periods and you’ll be covered up to the value of six weeks’ rent for any financial loss or damage caused by your tenants under their Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. If there is a dispute, our expert evaluation partner The Dispute Service (TDS) will be called in to resolve the issue and if the dispute is resolved in your favour, you will be paid within two days.
Why should I offer a zero deposit option on my rental property?
You’ll be able to attract a wider audience of tenants to a Zero Deposit property and these applicants will be vetted, referenced and credit-checked in the usual way by your lettings agency. With the Zero Deposit option, tenants pay a fee equivalent to one week’s rent and, as they won’t have to wait to raise the money for a normal cash deposit, they will be able to move in faster. What’s more, the scheme provides better cover than a traditional cash deposit, as it insures you for six weeks rent.
What are the benefits of the Zero Deposit Guarantee over other deposit replacement schemes?
Zero Deposit was co-founded by Zoopla’s former Commercial Director and is partnered with Munich Re, an insurance industry leader. With our deposit replacement scheme, we ask the tenant to pay for their no deposit insurance and the landlord pays nothing. Zero Deposit has developed a unique partnership with evaluation service TDS and unlike many other schemes it is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and customers can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
How do I know I can trust Zero Deposit?
Integrity is one of the core values of our business. 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 you get a fair and transparent product with no hidden risks.
How does the Zero Deposit option work?
How can I offer the Zero Deposit option to my tenants?
The Zero Deposit Guarantee can be offered through one of our partner letting agents listed here. If you need help finding a local partner agent or would like us to talk to your existing letting agent about becoming a partner, please get in touch on email@example.com. If you normally collect the deposit yourself, you can offer the no deposit option to your tenant by simply signing up online. Visit our Landlords page to learn more about how you can benefit from Zero Deposit.
What is covered by the Zero Deposit Guarantee?
You are covered for financial loss or damage for which your tenants are liable under your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, up to the value of 6 weeks’ rent.
How can I offer Zero Deposit on my property?
Zero Deposit Guarantees can be offered through one of our partner agents. If you need help finding a local partner agent or would like us to talk to your existing agent about becoming a partner, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Will a Zero Deposit Guarantee attract a different type of tenant?
The Zero Deposit Guarantee may attract a wider audience of tenants. However, your letting agent will still carry out the same checks on tenants to ensure they are suitable and meet the criteria you have agreed with your letting agent prior to them being introduced to Zero 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.
Do I still need to collect a deposit?
No, the Zero Deposit Guarantee replaces the need for a tenancy deposit, giving you effectively the same security and protection but without the hassle of collecting a traditional deposit.
How does the claims process work?
Are my tenants still liable for any financial loss or damage?
Your tenants remain liable for any financial loss or damage as set out in your Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
How do I make a claim?
A claim can be made in two ways: If you believe there is any financial loss or damage suffered by you under your assured shorthold tenancy agreement, and you have failed to reach a settlement directly with your tenant, you 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 you in settlement of any financial loss or damage, we will deem you 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 you and the tenant to provide evidence 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 and, if so, the amount due to you.
If there is a dispute, is an insurance company deciding whether my claim is settled?
No, disputes are assessed by our expert evaluation partner, The Dispute Service, who operate the longest-running tenancy deposit protection scheme in the UK. They review the evidence and provide a fair and impartial decision. How quickly do I receive a pay-out if my claim is successful? If TDS finds in your favour, we will pay you within two working days of being informed of TDS’s decision.
Are ‘The Dispute Service’ impartial?
The Dispute Service (TDS) adjudicators work fairly and impartially. 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.
What evidence will I need to provide in the event of a dispute?
We recommend you include the check-in inventory and schedule of condition report and the check-out inventory and schedule of condition report. If you are claiming for rent arrears, you should send a schedule of the rent that has been paid, and the outstanding rent and when it became due. With these documents, you should be able to evidence any property damage or rent arrears for which the tenant is liable. If you would like to submit photos as evidence, they should be dated and of reasonable quality. Our dispute process is the same as with a traditional cash deposit.
Will a dispute over a claim be resolved fairly?
We have partnered with The Dispute Service (TDS) to help ensure fair outcomes for landlords and tenants in the event of a dispute. 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 Landlord FAQ’s
Why should I offer this to my tenants alongside a traditional deposit option?
Moving into rented accommodation can be a costly experience, so by offering a more affordable solution for tenants you can potentially attract a wider audience of tenants which can lead to faster renting and higher rents.
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.