What is it

The Lord Mayor's Deposit Guarantee Scheme aims to help local people who are single or a couple and who are in need of housing and on a low income, afford to move into private rented accommodation.

We can issue a Deposit Guarantee Bond or cash of up to five weeks rent to a landlord as a guarantee to cover rent arrears or damage caused by the tenants of the property. This means that if you are on a low income do not have to raise a sum of money for the deposit in addition to your rent.

You may be liable for any costs not covered by the bond, or liable to us for any claims made against the bond.

In addition we may be able to offer you a repayable loan for the first months’ rent up to £775 subject to resources and criteria.

If you find a place outside the city, a three month county bus pass and a days' van hire may be paid.

Who can apply

Anyone who is:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Homeless or threatened with being homeless within two months and your personalised housing plan says seek a private rented sector home
  • Receiving benefits, on a low income, or who has no savings or other source of financial assistance
  • Having a local connection with Oxford as defined by the Allocations Policy - this may be waived in exceptional circumstances
  • Able to prove to the Lord Mayor's Deposit Guarantee Scheme Officer that they can sustain a tenancy in the private rented sector.

How to apply

To apply for the Scheme you need to go through the steps outlined below:

  • Read through the scheme details
  • Contact us to confirm your eligibility and book an appointment for an interview
  • Complete this online form
  • Attend an initial interview and bring your documentation.
  • If accepted on to the Scheme, find suitable accommodation
  • Complete the Local Housing Allowance / Universal Credit application and sign the Tenancy Agreement and any rent in advance repayment forms
  • Move in!

It is important that you DO NOT move in to the property before you have the full agreement of the Scheme. If you do move in to the property before getting the full agreement of the Scheme, you will not be given financial help e.g. an unlicensed house in multiple occupation.

This form usually takes about 10 minutes to complete. Please note that after 60 minutes of inactivity the form will time out and any information you have entered will be lost.