Guaranteed Rent: The Complete Guide for Landlords

What is a Guaranteed Rent Scheme?

A guaranteed rent scheme, also known as a rent-to-rent scheme, is where a landlord leases their property to a company, letting agent, or individual for a set period in exchange for a fixed monthly income. The middle tenant then sublets the property, manages it, and handles tenancy issues. This arrangement ensures landlords receive rent regardless of occupancy or tenant payment status.

How Do These Schemes Work?

In these schemes, the middle tenant signs a contract with the landlord, guaranteeing a monthly rent below market value. The middle tenant then markets the property, manages tenants, handles maintenance, ensures legal compliance, and deals with evictions if necessary. They profit by subletting at higher rates, often converting properties into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to increase yield.

Who Offers Them?

Guaranteed rent schemes are offered by both public and private sectors:

  • Local Authorities: Councils use these schemes to increase social housing. They lease properties, manage them, and ensure compliance, offering landlords guaranteed rent and professional management.
  • Lettings Agents and Private Providers: These entities offer commercial arrangements, handling everything from marketing to maintenance. Unlike council schemes, they profit by subletting to private tenants.

Difference Between Guaranteed Rent Scheme and Rent Guarantee Insurance

  • Guaranteed Rent Scheme: The middle tenant guarantees rent and handles management, regardless of occupancy or arrears. The landlord has no direct tenant relationship.
  • Rent Guarantee Insurance: This insurance covers landlords if tenants default. It’s bought at tenancy start and covers arrears and eviction legal fees. The landlord retains a direct tenant relationship.



Guaranteed rent schemes offer several advantages:

  1. Hands-Off Management: Ideal for landlords wanting minimal involvement.
  2. Predictable Income: Ensures regular cash flow without worrying about arrears.
  3. Reduced Legal Risks: Less likely to need eviction proceedings.
  4. Maintenance Coverage: Middle tenant handles repairs and compliance.
  5. Reliable Tenants: Local authorities often provide dependable tenants.
  6. Social Contribution: Helps provide housing for vulnerable groups.
  7. No Void Periods: Landlords get paid even if the property is vacant.

Risks and Drawbacks

Despite benefits, there are significant risks:

  1. Legal Liability: Landlords remain liable for compliance issues even if managed by the middle tenant.
  2. Inappropriate Contracts: Misuse of tenancy agreements can lead to legal complications.
  3. Mortgage and Insurance Issues: Some providers don’t allow rent-to-rent arrangements, potentially invalidating mortgages and insurance.
  4. Financial Risk: Middle tenants may lack resources to honor guarantees, risking non-payment and complex eviction processes.


Costs vary and are often opaque. While companies claim no upfront fees, landlords trade potential profits for stability. Middle tenants profit by charging higher rents than they pay landlords, covering their expenses and void periods. This can significantly reduce a landlord’s potential earnings.


  • Direct Letting: Maximizes returns by eliminating middle tenant but involves more hands-on management.
  • Rent Guarantee Insurance: Offers arrears protection while maintaining direct tenant relationships.
  • Professional Property Management: Provides a balance of hands-on involvement and professional oversight without sacrificing profit margins.

Guaranteed rent schemes offer a stable income and hands-off management, appealing to landlords prioritizing stability over maximum profit. However, thorough due diligence and understanding of potential risks are crucial. Alternatives like direct letting or rent guarantee insurance may better suit landlords seeking higher returns or willing to manage properties more actively.



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