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Housing services

Private tenancy deposits

Information on deposits for Privately rented housing.


What is a deposit?

Most landlords or letting agents will ask for a deposit when you are moving into privately rented accommodation. A deposit is a sum of money which acts as a guarantee against:

  • damage a tenant may do to the property
  • bills for cleaning which may be required if you have left the property in poor condition
  • bills relating to the property that are left unpaid, for example fuel or telephone bills
  • unpaid rent.

A landlord or letting agent cannot use a deposit to replace items which are damaged or worn due to normal wear and tear. Examples might include worn carpets or furniture.

How much will I be charged for a deposit?

Usually a landlord or letting agent will ask for the equivalent of a month's rent as a deposit, however, this could legally be the equivalent of up to two month's rent. If you ask, some landlords may agree to you paying the rent in instalments. You should ensure you clarify the deposit required before signing.

East Renfrewshire Rent Deposit Scheme

East Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) manages the East Renfrewshire Rent Deposit Scheme. The scheme is open to people who have been assessed by East Renfrewshire Council as homeless or threatened with homelessness. The scheme can assist people to access privately rented accommodation where the requirement for a deposit can often be a barrier.

If you believe that you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, and you wish to be considered for the Rent Deposit Scheme, you should contact the Council's Housing Advice & Homelessness Team on 0141 577 3001.

What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

If you rent from a private landlord or letting agent then a tenancy deposit scheme is where your deposit will be held safely for the length of your tenancy.

The tenancy deposit schemes are run by independent companies which are approved by the Scottish Government. Currently there are three approved schemes:

What will happen to my deposit?

Your landlord has 30 days from the date your tenancy begins to register your deposit with one of the schemes mentioned. Registering your deposit with one of the schemes is done at no cost to you.

How do I know my deposit has been registered?

Within 30 working days of the tenancy of the date your tenancy began, your landlord must give you the following information about your deposit:

  • the amount of the deposit.
  • the date they received the deposit and the date they paid the deposit into a scheme.
  • the address of the property that the deposit relates to.
  • a statement from your landlord confirming they are a registered landlord
  • the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme where the deposit was paid.
  • the conditions in which all, or some, of your deposit can be kept at the end of the tenancy.

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