Guide Private Rented Sector

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1. Rent Deposit Scheme

What is the Rent Deposit Scheme?

The Council will utilise the Rent Deposit Scheme (RDS) to enable people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to access private rented sector accommodation when they do not have the funds to secure themselves.

The RDS is made up of two components, a bond to help with the deposit and a loan for rent in advance.

What is a bond?

A 'rent deposit guarantee bond' is a written agreement between East Devon District Council, the landlord and the tenant.  A bond is put in place instead of a cash deposit and will guarantee money to the landlord up to the value stated on the bond.  Following the end of a tenancy, the landlord can make a claim to the Council for any damages or rent owing.

How the scheme works

Prior to tenancy commencement the Council, the landlord and the tenant are required to sign the Bond agreement.  The Council will ensure that tenants applying for the RDS have had a financial assessment completed in order to ensure that they can afford the property and that financial hardship is  not expected going forward.

Applying for the scheme

Anyone who is homelessness or threatened with homelessness can apply for the scheme.  It is the responsibility of the prospective tenants to seek accommodation and advise landlords that they will be utilising the RDS.  A member of the housing options team will liase with both tenant and landlord to ensure that a bond is in place prior to tenancy commencement and that all parties have a copy of the signed bond agreement.

How long is a bond valid for?

A bond starts on the tenancy start date and ends on the last day of the tenancy.

First months rent

People who are homeless or threatened with homelessness can also request assistance by way of a loan to pay for rent in advance.

Tenancy support

Landlords and tenants benefit from a dedicated member of the housing options team who will carry out checks throughout the tenancy.  The housing officer will address any issues raised at an early stage to prevent things escalating.

We will:

  •  Work with tenants who are struggling financially and seek to address problematic financial
  •  Arrange for Housing Benefit to be paid direct to landlord where requested
  •  Address arrears issues
  •  Work closely with other Council departments where necessary
  • Offer landlords advice on their legal obligations as a landlord

Making a claim

Claiming for rent arrears or damages to a property is a simple process, landlords are required to complete an application form.  Further checks can be carried out at the property where necessary by a housing officer.  We aim to process all bond claims within a maximum of three weeks from initial bond claim to issue of payment.  Although in most cases this will be achievable within a much shorter time-scale.


As of 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any private rented sector property to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Please visit for more information.