Zero Deposit™️ guarantee
Tenant FAQ

Zero Deposit is a no deposit scheme that frees up the cash you would usually pay in when making a traditional cash deposit. Learn how Zero Deposit works and discover how the no deposit rental option helps you save money, whether you’re a new tenant or mid-way through your tenancy.

What is a Zero Deposit Scheme?

What is a Zero Deposit scheme?

A Zero Deposit scheme is an alternative to a traditional cash deposit, designed to cut the upfront cost of renting for tenants, whilst providing the same level of protection for landlords. Referencing, check-in and check-out procedures all remain the same, and if there is any damage to the property or unpaid rent, you will need to reimburse the landlord yourself. If you dispute the landlord's claim, you and the landlord will be asked for evidence which will be sent for expert evaluation by the dispute service (TDS).

What does a no deposit option mean for tenants?

A Zero Deposit Guarantee frees up money that would otherwise be paid into a deposit protection scheme and makes renting more affordable for you as a tenant. By opting for a no deposit insurance, you can move in faster, you’ll have less paperwork to deal with and you’ll be able to use the cash that would normally be tied up in a deposit to spend on other things.

What are the benefits of a no deposit option vs. a traditional rent option?

The key benefit of a no deposit option versus a traditional rent deposit is that you don’t have to commit your money to a traditional rent deposit scheme. Purchasing a Zero Deposit™ Guarantee costs just 1 weeks rent and means that you can hold onto the money you saved for your traditional tenancy deposit, leaving you free to spend your cash on the things you need.

How do I know that 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.

Where can I find a Zero Deposit property?

When searching for a rental property on Zoopla or Rightmove, add "Zero Deposit" in the keywords section to narrow down your search. Alternatively you could use the property search tool on our website.

Where can I find an agent who uses Zero Deposit?

We are partnered with the majority of the UK’s top letting agents. This means you can find properties on nearly every high street in the country as well as by searching for the Key term Zero Deposit on Zoopla and Rightmove.

You can also sign up and access our property search tool, by clicking here and click “Get Started”.

Why should I use Zero Deposit, not a cash deposit?

Deposit-free renting is a better way to move home and spend money on the things you love. The Zero Deposit™ Guarantee costs the equivalent of one week’s rent and replaces your traditional security deposit, making renting more affordable.

Why should I use Zero Deposit, not another provider?

Zero Deposit is the UK’s only FCA regulated deposit replacement guarantee provider. This means we must act in a fair and proper way at all times. Businesses that are regulated by the FCA will always be held to the highest standards. Regulation is not something to be scared of as it provides a set of rules and safeguards to ensure that products like ours are sold responsibly. It also means that your landlord is provided with unambiguous and legally binding protection which is not always available with unregulated schemes.

Our insurance partner Munich Re (the world's second largest reinsurer) backs all of our insurance contracts, this means that you can have confidence that your guarantees will always be honoured and leave your landlords protected. We believe that this is essential given the current economic climate.

Finally our products are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which means that, in addition to the backing of one of the world’s leading reinsurers, landlords have UK Government backing to fall back on should the scheme fail.

How does the Zero Deposit option work?

How does the Zero Deposit option work?

Your lettings agent will put you in touch with us and we will send you an online quote. Once you have made a payment equivalent to one week’s rent and provided your Direct Debit details, copies of the paperwork will be sent to all parties. At the end of the tenancy if the lettings agent finds that you owe rent or have damaged the property, you will need to pay for it yourself. If you dispute the claim, our expert partner, The Dispute Service (TDS) will be called in to evaluate the evidence and make a judgement.

What tenancies can I use a Zero Deposit Guarantee on?

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

If you are in a House of Multiple Occupancy, check the type of tenancy that you have. It is likely, for example, to be an AST if you are in England.

Do we all need separate guarantees?

Only one guarantee is needed per Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. If you are all on the same tenancy, then only one guarantee is required. However, if you are multiple tenants with separate tenancy agreements, you'll need to pay for separate guarantees.

What are my responsibilities as a tenant?

As a tenant you are responsible for maintaining a good renting relationship with your landlord. This includes paying rent & bills on time, looking after the property and returning it to the landlord in the same condition you found it. By keeping this up, you can avoid or reduce the amount on any claims against you at the end of your tenancy.

How can I find a no deposit property to rent?

Your letting agent must be a Zero Deposit approved partner and the landlord of your chosen property must be happy to offer you a no deposit scheme as an alternative to a traditional cash deposit. You can find a list of partner agents here. Simply tell your lettings agent that you are interested in no deposit flats or houses and they will show you a list of Zero Deposit properties available to rent.

What if my landlord doesn't accept a Zero Deposit Guarantee?

If your landlord doesn’t accept the Zero Deposit scheme, you will need to pay a tenancy deposit into a traditional rent deposit scheme. It’s the landlord’s choice whether to offer deposit free renting, so please check with them before thinking about purchasing a Zero Deposit Guarantee.

How does the Zero Deposit scheme work with multiple tenants?

The Zero Deposit scheme works with multiple tenants to make all tenants jointly liable for any financial loss or damage suffered by the landlord. Each person signs the joint Zero Deposit Guarantee and shares the cost of fees. When a tenant moves out, we’ll update your documentation.

Who is eligible to use Zero Deposit?

Any tenant can use Zero Deposit if they pass referencing for their share of the rent, or have a guarantor who also passes referencing. Agents must use one of our approved reference providers.

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.

Do you offer services to vulnerable customers?

“Customer vulnerability” is defined as any personal, social or other factor(s) that may impact your ability to exercise informed decision making, rendering you vulnerable to suggestion and/or impacting your confidence to lend or borrow. Below we have outlined a broad range of vulnerable circumstances and situations including, but not limited to:

Illness/Sickness – This could be due to a short-term condition or something of a longer-term nature such as recuperating from medical conditions.

Physical Disability – The broad nature of disability encompasses a number of forms including but not limited to: deafness, blindness, and the restriction of limb use or mobility. All of these are factors which may impact your ability to purchase a guarantee through Zero Deposit.

Bereavement - Loss of a partner, relative or close friend may temporarily render you susceptible or vulnerable, something which may impact rational decision making.

Mental Capacity - This applies to customers who may suffer from any form of mental incapacity, which again may impact your ability to purchase a guarantee.

We cater to vulnerable customers. If you feel one of the above might be applicable, you can contact us here or call and a member of the team will be able to assist you.

What are the costs?

How much does the Zero Deposit scheme cost and who pays for it?

The tenant pays an initial, non-refundable fee, equivalent to one week’s rent, followed by an annual admin fee of £26. Only one guarantee is needed per Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

Paying and cancelling my Zero Deposit Guarantee

It costs nothing to cancel your Zero Deposit™ Guarantee but you must do this within the 14-day cooling-off period after purchasing the Zero Deposit Guarantee. If you don’t pay money owed to your landlord under the no deposit scheme, we may engage a debt collection agency, which could affect your credit rating. You may also be liable for the agency’s costs.

Why doesn't Zero Deposit mean zero cost?

Zero Deposit refers to the fact that there's literally no deposit, rather than no cost.

We sell the Zero Deposit Guarantee, which is a contract of insurance that covers the tenant's liabilities if they don't pay in the event of a claim. This protection is covered by the Guarantee Fee we charge, just like any other insurance you might buy.

Why don’t I get my Guarantee Fee back?

The guarantee fee you pay is the cost we charge to provide your landlord with insurance and you with financial freedom - which would have otherwise cost you 6 weeks rent upfront.

Just like any other insurance product, the fee covers the service you receive.

What happens to the Zero Deposit Guarantee if I extend my stay at the property beyond my initial tenancy period?

If you extend your stay at the property beyond your initial tenancy period, the Zero Deposit™ Guarantee is automatically extended, so you can continue to enjoy deposit free renting. When the guarantee is renewed, you will be charged a £26 administration fee, payable for each year that you remain in your Zero Deposit covered property.

What happens at the end of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement if I cause damage or don’t pay my rent?

If you cause damage or fail to pay your rent when your tenancy ends, you must pay the landlord directly. If you don’t, we will pay them on your behalf and may use a debt collection agency to collect any money owed (you could be liable for these costs). Be aware that fees paid towards the Zero Deposit scheme are non-returnable.

Moving out / Claims

What happens when I / we move out?

Check-out procedures are just like any other tenancy. Just be sure to let us know so we can end your guarantee and stop your annual renewal fee.

It’s important you tell us when your tenancy is ending so you don’t get charged for something that wasn’t your responsibility. If there is any damage to the property or unpaid rent, you will need to reimburse the landlord yourself. If you refuse to pay for any reason a claim can be made to us and we’ll get involved from there.

I’m renting with other tenants and I am moving out, what do I do?

First make sure whether you are being removed from the tenancy agreement. If not you should speak to your fellow tenants and agent or landlord to make sure everyone knows what is happening.

Once you’ve been taken off of the tenancy agreement and agreed what (if anything) you need to pay, then you should let us know. If you’ve got any email or documents proving what’s happened please send them to us. You can email support@zerodeposit.com.

I’m renting with other tenants and one of them is moving out, what do I do?

First make sure that any unpaid rent or damage they’ve caused is rectified as you will be taking on responsibility for the contract from the point they move out. You need to sort this out with them directly.

Second, once they’ve been removed from the tenancy give us a call and let us know so we can update your guarantee. This is covered in the annual administration fee, so there’s no charge to get it sorted. We’ll take it from there and issue you new documents.

A claim has been made against me and I don't agree, what happens next?

If you don't agree with what the landlord is claiming against you, then talk to us about it. We'll try to resolve the claim informally, but if we can't do that then you and the landlord have the right to an independent assessment provided by The Dispute Service (TDS). TDS are one of the government approved schemes that administer cash deposits and disputes about them. They're independent of you and the landlord and will lead to the same findings as with a cash deposit and their adjudicators comply with the Adjudicator Code of Conduct, available on the TDS website.

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