Zero Deposit™️ Guarantee
Landlord FAQ

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 and have passed referencing. 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 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?

As the UK's leading deposit replacement provider, we've built Zero Deposit on the principle of making renting easier, faster and fairer. To do this we took the decision to design a product that was regulated by the FCA, protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and where we could be held to account by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

We also partnered with The Dispute Service (TDS) to ensure that both you and your tenants get the same fair and independent award at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute.

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 help@zerodeposit.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 a Zero Deposit™️ Guarantee.

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.

Will a Zero Deposit Guarantee attract a different type of tenant?

The Zero Deposit Guarantee may attract a wider audience of tenants. 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.

Who can use Zero Deposit?

Any tenant who has passed referencing from one of our approved reference providers or who has a guarantor who has passed referencing, can be referred for a Zero Deposit Guarantee.

What tenancies are covered?

We cover a range of tenancies where a traditional cash deposit would be needed. These include:

✔️ Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) - In England and Wales

✔️ Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) - In Scotland

✔️ Northern Irish Tenancies

✔️ House of Multiple Occupancies (HMO) - Properties where tenants live in the same house or building under separate tenancy agreements

❌ Tenancies for Lodgers - Where you live with your landlord

❌ Tenancies with Companies as the Tenant - If a company rents the property we can’t cover it

Does Zero Deposit work on HMOs?

Yes, you can offer the choice of a Zero Deposit Guarantee to your tenants if they are in a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO). However, bear in mind that - depending on the wording of your tenancy agreement - claims for damage to shared areas of the property may be limited.

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 support@zerodeposit.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.

My tenant is going ahead with a Zero Deposit Guarantee, do I need to amend my tenancy agreement?

We can help with that. There are two ways that you can amend your tenancy agreement, either you can use standard terms or you can use a side letter. We've sample copies that you can use. However, always make sure that the wording is appropriate for your tenancy and seek legal advice if you aren't sure.

I have a Zero Deposit Guarantee and my tenants are moving out. What do I do?

If all of your tenants are moving out, then you need to let us know the date they're moving (or moved). To do this just email us at support@zerodeposit.com and we'll take it from there. If you want to make a claim, you need to notify us of that claim within 28 days so that we can contact the tenant and get them to respond. If you try to claim outside of the 28 days we may not be able to help.

I have a Zero Deposit Guarantee and one of my tenants is leaving, the rest are staying. What do I do?

It's important to make sure that when one tenant leaves you tell us about this. If the tenant is no longer responsible for the tenancy then you should let us know and we'll remove them from the tenancy. If you have new tenants joining we can arrange for them to be added to the guarantee.

You've asked for my reference check on the tenants, do I have to provide this?

For any new Zero Deposit Guarantees, yes you do. If you can't provide evidence that a tenant was referenced properly we may have to decline the claim.

I used one of your partners to set up a Zero Deposit Guarantee, but I have switched to another agent who doesn't use you. What do I do?

You don't have to do anything until the end of the tenancy. Once the tenancy has ended let us know. If you then want to make a claim, we can send your or your agent the link and you can submit the claim as you would with a cash deposit.

Can I make Zero Deposit mandatory?

No. A Zero Deposit Guarantee must always be a choice for your tenants, otherwise you may be in breach of the laws banning tenant fees across the UK.

What are the costs involved?

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 agent or the landlord needs to inform us of this. New tenants need to accept the terms and conditions. There is no cost for adding a new tenant.

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.

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?

My tenants have left, how do I make a claim?

It's easy! Just give us a call on 0333 200 2541 or email us on claims@zerodeposit.com and we'll send you the link to our claims portal. Alternatively, if you used one of our partner agents they can tell us the tenancy has ended and we'll investigate the claim from there with our claims portal.

I've submitted my claim to you, now what do I do?

We'll review the information and get in touch with the tenant to see if we can negotiate a settlement. If you have any more evidence that you think might be useful please let us have it as soon as possible. Once the case goes to TDS and a decision is made we won't be able to re-assess the claim.

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.

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 a claim is in your favour, we aim to pay within two working days of being informed of TDS’s decision and receiving your bank details.

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.

How are claims resolved in case of a tenancy with a Zero Deposit Guarantee?

Disputes over claims are resolved through our partnership with The Dispute Service (TDS), which ensures fair outcomes for landlords and tenants when end of tenancy disputes arise at no deposit rental properties. TDS adjudicators make decisions on the evidence provided, complying with the Adjudicator Code of Conduct, available on the TDS website.

Can I make a claim on my Zero Deposit if a tenant doesn’t pay rent during the coronavirus outbreak?

We currently know that the government is going to change the rules on repossessions for three months if they are due to coronavirus.

This means you may not be able to end a tenancy by taking a tenant to court. So, just like with a cash deposit, you won’t be able to make a claim on the Zero Deposit Guarantee without ending the tenancy. Remember, though, you’ll be able to speak to your bank about a payment holiday on your buy to let mortgage or your rent indemnity insurer.

If you are thinking about eviction at the end of the tenancy, it is worth bearing in mind that the government is changing the civil procedure rules to include a requirement that landlords attempt out of court settlement once the period has ended. This may mean agreeing to a payment plan with your tenants.

The full details are in the government’s press release:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters

We want to support landlords who are protected by Zero Deposit Guarantees, so if you think you might have a claim and want to discuss it - please email us at support@zerodeposit.com and one of our team will respond to your query.

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