Help to pay a deposit and first month's rent
A private landlord or letting agent can ask you for up to 2 months’ rent as a deposit. If you cannot afford to pay a deposit, you could get help from a rent deposit scheme, a grant, or the council.
Find a rent deposit scheme
If you cannot afford a deposit or first month's rent, there are schemes that could help you get a private tenancy. These are sometimes called rent deposit schemes or rent guarantee schemes.
Usually you can get help from a scheme if you’re:
18 or over
homeless or about to become homeless
on a low income or getting benefits
You can find a rent deposit scheme near you on the Crisis website.
Some schemes will help you:
find somewhere to rent
pay your deposit and first month's rent
check that the home is safe for you
apply for benefits
budget costs for your new home
Not all schemes will offer all of this, so check what the scheme provider can offer.
Check if you need to pay the money back
Some deposit schemes will negotiate with the landlord on your behalf to get a lower rent and deposit. Others will pay the landlord the money and agree on a payment plan for you to pay them back.
In some cases, if the scheme pays your deposit they'll get it back from the landlord when you move out. This means you do not have to pay the scheme back, unless the deposit needs to be used for damage you've caused.
Other forms of help
If you're not eligible for a rent deposit scheme, you could get other help.
If you get Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and need help with rent or a deposit, apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
Check you're getting all the benefits you're eligible for with the Turn2us benefits calculator.
If you’re on benefits or a low income, you could get a charitable grant. Use Turn2Us to search for grants in your area.
To pay for household items, clothing and moving costs, apply for a community care grant.
Last updated: 4 October 2022