What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 at 10:00

When you decide which property to move into, you’ll probably have to pay a sum of money upfront (usually the equivalent to one or two months’ rent) in the event that you damage the property or fail to pay the rent; the landlord has some sort of protection against this.

In April 2007, however, Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes were introduced to protect the tenant’s deposit, and to ensure that it was returned to them at the end of their tenancy providing they had met the terms of their agreement.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it means that your landlord or letting agent has to put your deposit into one of three Government registered approved schemes within 30 days of you moving in and it’s held there until you move out.

At the end of the tenancy, you and the landlord/letting agent have to agree the amount of money that’s going to be returned to you. If they have to make any repairs, or you haven’t paid the full amount of rent owing, then they may have to take some of that money, and pay you the remaining amount.

If you can’t agree on the amount that your landlord wants to take from you because you don’t think that certain repairs are needed, for example, then the great thing about the Deposit Protection Scheme is that it offers an independent resolution service that’s completely free. So you can be guaranteed a fair hearing of your arguments.

When everything’s agreed, the landlord or letting agent has to return this amount to you within 10 days.

When you sign an agreement, the landlord or letting agent has to tell you the following:

  • the address of the property you’re renting
  • how much deposit you’ve paid
  • how the deposit is protected
  • the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme and its dispute resolution service
  • your landlord/letting agent’s name and contact details
  • the name and contact details of who paid the deposit (if it wasn’t you, then your parents, for example)
  • the reasons for your landlord to keep some or all of the deposit – e.g. because you’ve damaged the property and they need to fix it
  • how to get your deposit back at the end of the tenancy
  • what to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord or letting agent at the end of the tenancy
  • what to do if there’s a dispute over the amount to be returned at the end of the tenancy

So ensure they’ve done all the above, if they don’t, then you can take them to court to get them to protect your deposit, they’ll be fined if they haven’t adhered to these rules.

This scheme will help to ensure that your money is kept safe and that you get the right amount of money due back to you.

If you would like any more information about how the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme works, then please get in touch, I can tell you what you want to know.


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