A Deposit Replacement Service (DRS) can give you the option to pay a smaller one-off fee at the beginning of your tenancy instead of the five weeks' rent that's usually required from a traditional deposit scheme. The DRS one-off, check-in fee is 1 week's rent (+VAT). However, the one-off payment is non-refundable and you are still liable for damages (allowing fair wear and tear) and any unpaid rent that could be outstanding at the end of your tenancy.
You may ask why someone would opt for a nonrefundable deposit over a refundable deposit. The reason why is because a DRS reduces upfront costs. With DRS, you can move between properties quickly and don’t have to wait for your traditional deposit to be returned to you. Securing a new property has less impact on your immediate cash flow, so you’ll have more cash in your pocket, at the time you need it most.
If you need to dispute any charges at the end of your tenancy, Deposit Replacement Services are often adjudicated by an independent and impartial specialist who may also manage a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.