Should You Pay a SureDeposit or a Traditional Security Deposit?

Lauren Wellbank
Written by Lauren Wellbank
Updated March 1, 2022
Smiling couple receiving keys
Photo: dragana991 / Getty Images

Highlights

  • SureDeposits are surety bonds backed by a financier.

  • Not all apartment complexes and landlords accept SureDeposits.

  • SureDeposits require a non-refundable fee.

  • Traditional security deposits are fully refundable at the end of your lease.

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Putting down your initial deposit for your new home can be an exciting time—until you start thinking about packing up all your belongings and trekking them over to your new place. 

However, some people may balk at the sheer amount of money you need to fork over for the deposit at the start of your lease. Fortunately, renters have a few options for putting down their deposit. Let’s compare the two primary options: SureDeposit and a security deposit. 

The Pros and Cons ​of SureDeposit 

A SureDeposit is a surety bond backed by a financier who promises to pay the landlord if you stop paying your rent or damage the property in some way. The renter is required to reimburse SureDeposit in the event that they have to pay out a claim to your landlord. 

Pros of SureDeposit Bonds

  • Lower upfront cost: You don’t need to put as much money down upfront, which can open many more doors (literally) for rental options.

  • Covers the length of the lease: As long as you hold up your end of the financial agreement with your landlord, you won’t owe anything when it’s time to move.

Cons of SureDeposit Bonds

  • Responsible for fees or charges: You’ll be on the hook for any fees or charges if you default on any portion of the lease agreement.

  • Only available in participating communities: Your landlord must agree to accept SureDeposit as an option, which doesn’t always happen.

  • Nonrefundable fee: There’s a nonrefundable fee associated with the bond, which is lower than the cost of most security deposits, but you don’t get it back. 

The Pros and Cons​ of a Traditional Security Deposit

A traditional deposit can range in price from one to several months worth of rental payments. If you’re planning on bringing a four-legged friend along with you to your new home, that price could even be higher thanks to costly pet deposits.

Pros of Security Deposits

  • Returned at the end of your lease: As long as you uphold your end of the rental agreement, you can expect to get your money back once your lease ends.

  • Secure holding: Once you pay your security deposit, you know where your money is and what you’ll need to do to get it back.

Cons of Security Deposits

  • Higher upfront cost: As mentioned above, the security deposit is at least the cost of one month’s rent, which can be difficult to manage in addition to moving expenses.

  • Stagnant funds: Your security deposit is held by your landlord, which means it’s stagnant instead of earning interest in a bank account.

  • Refund issues: You may not get your deposit funds back until after you’ve already moved into your next home, which means you may need to save up a significant amount of money to move.

SureDeposit vs. Traditional Security Deposits

Real estate agent showing apartment
Photo: FG Trade / Getty Images

While both options can help you get into your new home, there are some clear instances where one might be a better option for you.

Options

While SureDeposits allow you to avoid saving up a large chunk of change to move into your new home, a limited number of properties accept this payment option. Using SureDeposit might shrink your rental pool considerably, depending on how common these types of deposits are where you live. 

Best options: Traditional Security Deposits

Price​

All things considered, a SureDeposit will cost you more money in the long run. If you follow the letter of your contract and get your security deposit back at the end of your lease, you can expect to receive every last penny you gave your landlord. However, if you use a SureDeposit, the nonrefundable fee you put up to secure the funds, you’ll never see that money again. 

Lower overall cost: Traditional Security Deposits

The winner is…

If you’re on a budget or want to move before you have all your financial ducks in a row, a SureDeposit bond can turn that dream into a reality. However, if your bank account can withstand paying your deposit the old fashion way, that will be the cheaper long-term option.

Overall winner: Tie 

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