Advice for private tenants

Funding a deposit and rent in advance

If you would like to rent privately but do not have the finances to fund a deposit and rent in advance required by most landlords, you may want to consider the following options.

Taking out a loan  

You will need to look for a loan to suit your needs and financial capabilities. You should never take out a loan which you cannot afford to pay back. You should first complete a simple income and expenditure exercise to see how much you can afford to repay on a weekly or monthly basis.  

The cheapest way to borrow money is from friends or family.  You should be aware that some loans, such as payday loans come with a very high interest rate.  

For a more affordable alternative you may want to consider a loan agreement with the Wandsworth Plus Credit Union. Anyone who lives or works in the borough will be able to become a credit union member, and be eligible for loans of between £50 and £7,500. Loans under £7,500 are often cheaper from a credit union than from anywhere else – banks, doorstep lenders or payday lenders – and there are no hidden charges like late or early repayment fees. 

Council Rent Deposit Scheme

The Rent Deposit Scheme can help those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness find a home in the private rented sector. We may be able to assist you with the cost of a deposit and rent in advance if you:
  • Have a priority need for housing
  • Homeless or threatened with homelessness in the next 28 days
  • Have recourse to public funds

You will be required to submit a homelessness application and be subject to an assessment.  If we notify you that you would qualify for this scheme we will assist you with finding private rented accommodation.  Please note that depending on your assessed affordability this may not be within the borough.

For further information contact housing at

Other rent deposit schemes

There are other rent deposit schemes that may be able to help you, however these organisations often operate their own qualifying criteria and waiting list and may not be suitable for everyone. 

Zaccheaus 2000 Trust - NextDoor Project - A Private Rented Sector Access Scheme 

NextDoor Private Rented Sector Access Scheme (PRSAS) operates a Deposit Guarantee Scheme for tenants in London who are finding it difficult to move without assistance.

Phone: 020 7259 0801 (Select option 2); 020 8964 0961

Refugee Council Housing Resettlement and Deposit Guarantee Scheme 

This charity works to ensure that refugees are given the protection they need, that they are treated with respect and understanding, and that they have the same rights, opportunities & responsibilities as others.
You must be a refugee or asylum seeker,  must be aged over 18 years old, live on a low wage or are in receipt of benefits, single and not in priority need.

Phone: 0207 346 1190 

SSAFA Forces Help 

SSAFA provides lifelong support (including housing support) to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force (both regular and in the reserves)
You must be a member or former member of the Armed Forces, including the Volunteer Reserve Forces and Nursing Services, and their wives, former wives, husbands, former husbands, families, widows, widowers, children and other dependants. 

Phone: 0207 463 9354 (Housing Advice no) / 0845 241 7141

Vision Housing 

Private rented accommodation to ex-offenders, substance mis-users and people with mental health issues. They assist with benefits, rehabilitation, training and employment. 
You must be single, non priority and homeless or threatened with homelessness. You must be 18 years old or older. 

Phone: 0207 924 6727

Pages in Advice for private tenants