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.
With a Zero Deposit Guarantee, the tenant sign up process will be faster, you could experience fewer void periods and you’ll be covered for up to the value of six weeks’ rent. The Guarantee covers you for any financial loss or damage caused by your tenants under their 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 in as little as two working days of bank details being provided.
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 plus a £49 set up fee 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 up to six weeks rent.
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.
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.
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 a 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.
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.
Any tenant who has passed referencing from one of oour approved reference providers, or who has a guarantor who has passed referencing, can be referred for a Zero Deposit Guarantee.
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 - Any tenancy subject to the Private Tenancy (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
✔️ 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
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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.
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.
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.
The good news is that you don't need to. Prescribed information is only required when you lodge a deposit. With a Zero Deposit Guarantee, there is no deposit so no need to provide Prescribed Information. Just make sure you include the relevant terms in your tenancy agreement, click here for our suggested side letter.
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 email@example.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.
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.
Yes you do. If you can't provide evidence that a tenant was referenced properly we may have to decline the claim.
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 you or your agent the link and you can submit the claim as you would with a cash deposit.
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.
Zero Deposit costs nothing for landlords. The initial cost of the Zero Deposit Guarantee for the tenant is the equivalent of one week’s rent plus a £49 set up fee. The Zero Deposit Guarantee is automatically renewed on an annual basis. On renewal, the tenant also pays an annual fee of £17.50 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.
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 plus a £49 set up fee, followed by an annual fee of £17.50 if they remain in your property. You will be covered for up to the value of six weeks rent. There are no associated costs for landlords who offer a zero deposit rental property.
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.
Your tenants remain liable for any financial loss or damage as set out in your tenancy agreement.
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.
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. There are some claims that we can settle using our in house claims team, without adjudication; however, if you disagree with our decision, you remain able to ask for TDS to provide an outcome.
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.
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.
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.
You must notify us of a claim within 28 days of a tenancy ending. 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.
It's easy! Just give us a call on 0333 200 2541 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you the link to our claims portal. It is important that you contact us within 28 days of the tenancy ending to start your claim. 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. They still need to raise a claim within 28 days so it’s important to provide any evidence to support your claim as soon as possible.
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.
Please seek legal advice before looking to evict a tenant during the pandemic as the government may have rules around when you can start proceedings and these are subject to change depending on the situation with the pandemic.
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.
Up to date details are on the government website which can be found here:
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 email@example.com and one of our team will respond to your query.
The Zero Deposit Guarantee covers everything that a cash deposit would, as outlined in your AST. The only difference is that to purchase a Guarantee tenants (or their guarantors) have to have passed referencing and claims need to be notified to us within 28 days. You will need to provide copies of the reference report in the event of a claim and any evidence to support the claim.
The Dispute Service (TDS) assesses the majority of our claims. So, prepare a claim to us as you would with a cash deposit. Being clear about what you are claiming for and why it is covered under the Tenancy Agreement helps the adjudicator understand why you are claiming and what you are claiming for.
You’ll also need to provide a copy of the reference report.
As with a cash deposit claims are assessed on the basis of evidence provided by the landlord. The key evidence you need to provide includes:
If you don’t provide this evidence, as with a cash deposit, it will be harder for you to prove the claim you’re trying to make and may result in significant reductions.