Rent Deposit Scheme

Are you 16-25? Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless? Are you ready to embrace the opportunity to access your own tenancy?

The Rent Deposit Scheme was set up in 2017 by End Youth Homelessness who partnered with charities across the UK to deliver the scheme and is currently funded by The Body Shop. 

The Rent Deposit Scheme supports young people aged 16-25 to access their own tenancy, either through the private rented sector or through social housing, by offering a cash deposit to overcome the initial financial barriers faced when entering a new tenancy.  The Rent Deposit Scheme then provides ongoing tailored support for the first 6-12 months to help the young person set up the tenancy and to ensure it is a lasting success. 

We understand that a homelessness or housing crisis can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye.  For those in employment and/or education it can be very difficult to access support without these positive life aspects being interrupted or halted altogether.  End Youth Homelessness’ Rent Deposit Scheme, in partnership with The Body Shop, Rock Trust in Edinburgh and Simon Community Scotland, is one of only a few options available in Glasgow and surrounding areas for young people to access support into their own accommodation outside traditional homelessness service provision.

How can the Rent Deposit Scheme Help Me?

When applying for private rented accommodation, applicants are typically asked for one months rent in advance as well as a deposit which in some cases can be as much as two months worth of rent.  Most people would struggle to find this much money on short notice especially when they are on a low income, in education or if they are in receipt of benefits. 

The Rent Deposit Scheme supports successful applicants to the service by providing the requested cash deposit (up to a certain amount per young person) directly to the landlord or housing provider and providing 6-12 months of tenancy sustainment support to the tenant(s) in their new home.

Eligibility to the Rent Deposit Scheme

  • The lead applicant must be aged 16-25,
  • The young person must have somewhere safe they can stay while we are supporting them to look at their own permanent accommodation options.  If the young person does not have somewhere safe to stay we will support them to access temporary accommodation,
  • The young person must be able to show that they can afford the tenancy in question on a long term basis,
  • The young person will agree to set up a savings account if they do not already have one.
  • The young person must demonstrate that they are able to live and manage their tenancy independently once support has ended.
  • The young person must demonstrate they understand the importance of being a good neighbour and how to engage with their local community positively.

I don’t think that I can afford the private rented sector.

If you are on a low income or in receipt of benefits, the private rented sector can still be a realistic option for you.  You can either apply with a friend or we will match you with another young person based on age, life experience, life aspirations etc.  By splitting the costs of a private rented tenancy between two people it becomes much more affordable.

What the Rent Deposit Scheme can not support with

It is becoming more and more common for landlords/letting agents to request a guarantor for private tenancies, especially when the potential tenant(s) are on a low income, a student or are in receipt of benefits.  A guarantor is someone who will be responsible for paying any rent arrears accrued or damages caused by the tenant(s) for the duration of the tenancy.  

Due to the Rent Deposit Scheme only being in place to support the tenancy for the first 6-12 months and having a set budget for each young person accepted into the service, we can not act as a guarantor for young people.  We will provide support and guidance to support the young person to find a guarantor.  

Success for the Rent Deposit Scheme

In June 2020 – May 2021 the Rent Deposit Scheme supported 17 young people to access their own tenancies by providing the cash deposit and providing up to 12 months of tenancy sustainment support.  

Paul* & James’* Story

Paul* and James* were referred to the Rent Deposit Scheme in the beginning of 2020 by Simon Community Scotland’s Shared Living service who had matched them together based on age, life experience, life aspirations etc and were now looking at tenancy options with them.

Even though both young men were in receipt of benefits at the time, they were able to apply for private rented tenancies as they had agreed to split all the costs of the tenancy between them.

Paul* and James* had enough between them to cover a month’s rent upfront but not enough to cover the deposit requested as well.  RDS was happy to step in and provide the deposit amount directly to the landlord when they were successful in applying for a tenancy.  The pair moved into their new home in June 2020 and have been doing really well since then.  The tenancy is still going strong and they have both been able to move into employment due to being in an affordable living situation.

*names have been changed