Rent Guarantee Scheme (RGS)

3 min read

logo for Rent Guarantee Scheme

This page provides information about the Rent Guarantee scheme and who can access it.

The scheme matches people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, with landlords who have properties to let. We pay the rent directly to the landlord, in advance. We also guarantee to pay up to six weeks’ rent as a tenancy deposit, to cover costs if the property is damaged by tenants.


To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have a local connection* to Reading
  • be referred by the homelessness prevention team because you have been assessed as at risk of being homeless
  • be receiving benefits or on a low income;
  • have no other way of finding the deposit (we expect you to have exhausted all other means of securing a deposit)
  • have a good tenancy history
  • be actively engaging with any support services

*To have a local connection you must have lived in Reading for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 of the last 5 years or work in Reading or have immediate family who have lived in Reading for over 5 years.

How to apply

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness please visit the at risk of losing your home page. We will assess your housing situation and your entitlement to Housing Benefit/Universal Credit. We will ask you to provide:

  • proof of identity for all members of your household
  • recent bank statements for 3 months for all bank accounts
  • proof of income (benefits confirmation letter and/or wage slips)

We will also ask your most recent landlord to provide a reference. If you do not have a recent landlord we may ask for references from other sources.

The scheme

You will be required to attend a two hour workshop which covers:

  • how the RGS works and its benefits to landlords
  • how to find private rented accommodation and the dos and don’ts when attending viewings
  • information on benefits and income including money management and debt advice

At the end of the session you will have the information and skills you need to be able to source your own accommodation. If/when we have any suitable properties we will invite you to view them – in the meantime we expect you to be actively looking for your own property as there are more tenants on the scheme than properties available. We will provide you with a leaflet about the Rent Guarantee Scheme and evidence that you have been accepted which you can show to potential landlords and agents.

Once you have moved into your new home, you must pay your rent to us and start saving towards your deposit. If you fall behind in paying your rent to us or saving towards your deposit you will be breaking the terms of the agreement and we may remove you from the scheme. This could result in you having to leave your home.

Rent Guarantee Scheme Factsheet


Additional benefits for landlords are:

  • guaranteed rent paid directly to the landlord, in advance
  • up to six weeks deposit
  • rent paid during void periods
  • property viewings arranged within a day
  • video inventories at start and end of tenancy
  • vetted tenants
  • tenants that have completed a tenancy skills workshop
  • a completely free service

The property can be furnished or unfurnished. We will inspect the property before accepting it onto the scheme to make sure it meets our legal, and health and safety standards.

We set our letting income rates, which is the amount of guaranteed rent that we will pay, each year on 1 April. The rates for April 2024 – March 2025 are as follows:

Letting typeLetting Income rate
Room in shared house (HMO)£390.43 pcm
Studio flat£847.69 pcm
One bedroom£847.69 pcm
Two bedrooms£1,092.00 pcm
Three bedrooms£1,296.45 pcm
Four bedrooms£1,649.48 pcm

Landlords can use a letting agent to manage your property –they should let prospective tenants know if they do as it may mean additional charges for them.

Tenants pay their rent to us and save an agreed amount every month over a three year period towards their deposit. At the end of the tenancy you can claim against the deposit if there is any damage to the property or its contents beyond normal wear and tear.

Email or call us on 0118 937 2233 if you are interested in finding out more about the scheme.

Last updated on 28/05/2024