Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme

You have a legal obligation to pay your rent. We offer advice and support to residents having difficulty paying their rent.

You will find information below for people looking for homes and for landlords who are interested in using this scheme

Deposit Guarantee Partnership

The Society is running the Deposit Guarantee Partnership for one council, South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC), to help prevent homelessness.

Since 2003 we have helped around 1,000 people find accommodation through the private sector rented.

Information for prospective tenants

Each LA would refer potential tenants to us under this scheme, a letter is sent out to them explaining how the scheme works and what they need to do to secure a property. Each referral receives a letter from us accepting them onto our scheme and information on what to do next.

Rent in advance

Please note that it is normal practice in the private rented sector to pay rent in advance and you will usually be expected to pay the months rent at the point the tenancy is signed.
The deposit guarantee does not cover this cost, you may be eligible to apply for a crisis loan or a social loan to help with this, please apply at your local job centre.

Administration fee

These are fees charged by letting agents and will cover their admin costs. You will be responsible for paying the rent in advance and any other fees.

Local Housing Allowance

These rates apply to housing benefit claims when renting from a private landlord. The rates relate to your family circumstances and the area you live. Check the LHA: all you need is the postcode of the property you are interested in renting.

Housing benefit

This is dealt with by the local authority in the area of the property you will be renting. The local authority has their own housing benefit office which is a separate department from the housing department.

Schedule of condition/inventory

This should be given to you at the start of your tenancy (at sign up), you must check this and make any alterations as to the condition of the property. You will need to return this to the landlord duly signed and keep a copy for yourself. The inventory is then checked at the end of your tenancy by the landlord.

Tenancy issues

You will be issued with an assured short hold tenancy, this will run for six months, there will be penalties if you leave before the six months has elapsed. After this period your tenancy becomes a periodic tenancy which means you need to give one months notice and the landlord is required to give you two months notice if he needs the property back.

Tenancy Deposit Certificate

If the Society has paid cash to your landlord/letting agent, it is important that you receive a Tenancy Deposit Certificate which confirms that the money has been put into this scheme. Please ensure the Society receive a copy of this certificate.

Home-Link/Choice based lettings

The Home-Link scheme is the choice based lettings scheme for the Cambridge sub-region. Home-Link gives more choice about where you want to live. You will be registered with Home-Link if you are an existing tenant of a participating council or housing association.

If you are a new applicant to the housing register, once registered you can bid for properties that you are interested in by website, telephone, text etc.

Ending your tenancy

If you are on a six month tenancy you can give one months notice to your landlord at the end of five months in the property. If you try to leave your tenancy within the six months you will ensure rental penalties. Your landlord is required to give you two months notice.

Transfer of deposit

You would need to contact your local authority that provided you with the deposit to see if they would be happy for you to transfer your deposit.

Information for landlords

How it works

The council refers selected, prospective tenants to the Society. Sometimes tenants come to us having already found a landlord, sometimes they come to us hoping that we will be able to put them in touch with landlords who have registered their interest with us.

The tenants then find their landlord and agree the terms of the tenancy in principle. Please note that the tenancy, its terms and any other agreement not involving the deposit guarantee are matters for the tenant and the landlord. The Society will not act as an agent for or representative of either tenant or landlord. The role of the Society is solely to facilitate the granting of a tenancy through the issue and settlement of the deposit guarantee or a cash payment .It is your responsibility to register this money with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and give a copy of the deposit certificate to the tenant.

The tenants, the landlord and the Society meet at the property and agree the terms of the deposit guarantee, any inventory and a schedule of condition of the property. A three way agreement is signed.
At the end of the tenancy a further meeting is arranged at the property to agree settlement of the deposit guarantee.

What the Deposit Guarantee covers

The deposit guarantee is a guarantee up to an agreed amount against unpaid rent and /or damage or dilapidation which cannot be attributed to fair wear and tear.

It is, therefore, a guarantee against unpaid rent whether due from the tenant or the housing benefit office.

It is also a guarantee against theft of or damage to the landlords’ property, its’ fixtures, fittings and contents.

Who holds the deposit on a three way agreement?

The deposit guarantee is a guarantee that the Society will pay to the landlord any arrears of rent and any non fair wear and tear repair or replacement costs at the end of a tenancy and in accordance with the agreement signed at the beginning of the tenancy. The money backing the guarantee is held by the relevant Local Authority but will be paid by the Society and then reclaimed. It is not released to the landlord unless by agreement at the end of the tenancy as described above. The final decision over payment under the scheme is made by the Society. The Society acts as a fair and impartial arbitrator.

Legal requirements

It is a legal requirement that every Landlord who rents out a property gives the tenant a copy of an Energy Performance Certificate, Landlord Gas Certificate (if a gas supply is present) and it is best practice to have had the electrics checked every five years.

How landlords register their interest in the scheme

If you wish to have your name added to the register of landlords who want the Society to contact them to place tenants please contact us:

By telephone: 01223 312294
By Fax: 01223 355394
By email.