Here are some commonly asked landlord/ letting agent questions and answers about our Deposit Bond scheme:
If you are a private Landlord/Letting Agent, either letting individually or via an agent, we would welcome working with you to help people access private rented accommodation.
The scheme was developed in consultation with local Landlord/Letting Agents and we offer a service to all Landlord/Letting Agents. The Deposit Bond Scheme means no cash deposit is received from the tenant, saving you the time and hassle of having to put a cash deposit into a scheme.
The Bond agreement will expire after 2 years, in which time we would expect the tenant to have saved to cover their own deposit. In exceptional circumstances, if the tenant has not been in a position to save the full deposit during this time, the Bond may be extended after the initial 2 years on review with the Bond Officer.
We will monitor this arrangement monthly with the provider for each tenant on the Bond scheme to review their progress.
We will also get monthly reports signalling any change of address for any tenants on the Bond scheme to cross reference any discrepancies or changes. You will be updated if we are aware of any changes to your tenants address.
You can contact the Bond Officer at anytime by accessing the Online Contact form. This will send a contact request directly to the Bond Officer who will contact you at their earliest convenience.
There will also be a dedicated telephone line to speak to The Bond Officer on 01803 208053 available Monday to Friday from 10am to 11am. Availability will be subject to demand.
The Bond is an agreement with us, but at the start of the tenancy the tenant and the Landlord/Letting Agent must sign up to the conditions of the Bond agreement with us. The agreement explains the terms and conditions of how and when a claim can be made by the Landlord/Letting Agent if needed.
The Deposit Bond is a guarantee provided by us to a private Landlord or Letting Agent for a specific tenancy. If the tenant damages the property or there are rent arrears at the end of the tenancy, we agree to pay the cost of repairs and/or rent arrears up to the maximum value of the Bond on review of your claim. This is subject to a review of any rent in advance and Housing Benefit.
The maximum value of the Deposit Bond is normally the monthly rent for a tenancy. If the tenant has a pet, this may be enhanced for damage caused by pets on agreement with the Bond Officer.
A Deposit Bond Scheme is exempt from the legislation, as no cash changes hands at the outset. This reduces the administration involved and prevents the Landlord or Letting Agent from the possibility of breaking the law with regard to securing it.
Once a tenant finds a suitable property, you can submit an application.
Help with a deposit and Rent in Advance
If you are in receipt of Housing Benefits or Universal Credit (housing costs element) and you need help with a deposit as well as rent in advance you will need to apply through Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).
If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefits or Universal Credit (housing costs element) and need help with a deposit as well as rent in advance you will need to apply through our Crisis Support scheme.
Help with a deposit only
If you need help with a deposit only and do not require help with Rent in Advance then please contact us using our contact form.
Alternatively you can visit our Paignton Connections office where our Customer Services advisors will assist you in making an application.
The criteria for who can apply to the Bond Scheme can be found on our criteria page. The Bond Officer will look at your circumstances and decide whether you can be accepted onto the scheme.
From 6 April 2007, Government legislation altered the way in which cash deposits are treated. Previously the Landlord or letting agent held the deposit which was returnable at the end of the tenancy if there was no damage or rent arrears. This refers to the Compulsory Tenancy Deposit Scheme set out in the Housing Act 2004. For further information go toor .
A Landlord or Letting Agent must protect the deposit in accordance with Deposit Protection Legislation and inform the tenant of the scheme details within 30 days. The companies running the schemes have been appointed by the Government and if the Landlord or Letting Agent fails to comply with the legislation there are a number of strict penalties.
The Landlord or Letting Agent also has the added benefit of knowing the deposit is backed by us and will also have access to advice.
By issuing the Bond we have the opportunity to have more control over our finances and are able to be proactive in working with landlords and tenants to ensure that accommodation is looked after. This can benefit all of us and means that tenants are more likely to be able to maintain tenancies long term.
We would also like to promote better working relationships with landlords, by helping to resolve tenancy issues whilst promoting financial responsibility and encouraging tenants to take responsibility for looking after their accommodation.
Once an affordable property has been found, prior to the tenant moving in, the Bond Officer will arrange to inspect the property to confirm it is suitable and to record the condition by way of a signed photographic inventory. The Bond Officer will then agree the details of the Deposit Bond with the landlord. The Deposit Bond and Inventory will be signed by the landlord and tenant and there will be a copy for both the tenant and the landlord to keep for future reference.
A Bond Certificate will be issued to the tenant and Landlord/Letting Agent detailing all aspects of the Bond including a specific Bond ID number, Property Reference, Landlord/Letting Agent details, tenant details, amount of Bond and the start and end date of the Bond.
As with all tenancies, the tenant will be responsible for paying rent and for keeping to all the terms of the tenancy agreement.
When a tenant moves out of the property, we have asked them to let us know. As the Landlord/Letting Agent you will also need to inform us within 5 days if the tenant gives you notice of their intention to leave. We will inspect the property again to check its condition. The Bond Officer will be responsible for making a decision about your claim and will compare the condition of the property at the end of tenancy inspection to the photographic inventory taken when the Bond was agreed.
It is best if this is done after the property has been emptied with the Bond Officer, tenant and Landlord/Letting Agent present. If any work is needed to clean or repair damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear, or there are rent arrears, the Landlord/Letting Agent can claim the cost of these up to the value of the Deposit Bond on agreement with the Bond Officer.
Any funds would therefore be reclaimed by us from the tenant. If they do not repay us, we will endeavour to take legal action to recover the money. In addition, the Landlord/Letting Agent may also take action against the tenant for any amount they are unable to recover from us. We would recommend that the landlord ensures that their insurance includes a Malicious Damage clause for extra protection.
You must take steps to notify us as soon as you become aware that a tenant has left. The Landlord/Letting Agent must make a claim within 14 days of a tenancy ending or following knowledge of abandonment. If you do not, you may not be able to make a claim against the Bond if the property has been damaged.
Many landlords ask for a Bond and one month’s rent in advance. In certain circumstances we may be able to offer help with rent in advance through Discretionary Housing Payments or Crisis Support. To find out more please click here (link to DHP/CS).
We can only issue a Bond if the property meets the required standard. If during the Bond period we are informed that the property has deteriorated as a result of lack of maintenance by the Landlord/Letting Agent, then any right to claim against the Bond will be suspended until the property disrepair is rectified.
After the Bond has been issued we will be in regular contact with the Landlord/Letting Agent to assess how the tenancy is going. This will be to evaluate what inspections have been undertaken, and to ensure that the property has not been damaged and is safe and habitable. This may include an inspection by the Bond Officer at key review dates.
The Landlord/Letting Agent must make a claim against the Deposit Bond for any damages within 14 days of a tenancy ending, or following knowledge of abandonment. Claim Form here. (link to claim form)
When a tenancy ends whilst the Deposit Bond is still active, you will be able to make a claim for any damages that have occurred up to the value of the Bond agreed at the start of the tenancy.
The maximum amount the Landlord/Letting Agent can claim for is limited to the value of the Bond. Any enhanced Bond in respect of pets can only be used to cover expenses associated with pets and not general damage or rent arrears.
The Bond Officer will be responsible for making a decision about your claim and will compare the condition of the property at the end of tenancy inspection to the photographic inventory taken when the Bond was agreed.