Available to the multifamily industry in the U.S. since 2000, an alternative risk management and marketing tool that protects the apartment owner against financial losses due to lease violations (such as damage to an apartment or skipped rent).  Most often found in the form of a surety bond, a security deposit alternative is non refundable to the resident, but typically costs less than a refundable security deposit. For example, in the case of one security deposit alternative program, for $500 worth of coverage for the community, the resident pays $87.50 for the surety bond premium.