If you are renting a property in the UK and paying a deposit to your Landlord there’s some legislation you should be aware of – Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP).
This legislation states that as a Tenant if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) after 6th April 2007 your Landlord must put your deposit in a government back tenancy deposit scheme.
In England & Wales there is three schemes which your Landlord can choose from; Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and Tenancy Deposit Scheme. There are separate schemes in Scotland & Northern Ireland.
These schemes will make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property and pay your rent & bills.
If you choose to leave a valuable item as a deposit (such as a car or watch) instead of money, your Landlord can still accept these but they won’t be covered by the scheme.
Once you have paid a deposit to your Landlord they have 30 days to put your deposit within one of the schemes.
When a Landlord has accepted your deposit and protected it they need to provide you with the following information
- The address of the rented property
- How much deposit you’ve paid
- How the deposit is protected.
- The name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service
- Their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details
- The name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit
- Why they would keep some or all of the deposit
- How to apply to get the deposit back
- What to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy
- What to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit
You can apply to your local county court if you think your landlord hasn’t used a TDP scheme when they should have.
If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either repay it to you or pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days.
The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.
End of Tenancy
When you are leaving your rented property at the end of your tenancy your Landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back.
If you cannot agree on this amount and you wish to raise a dispute, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP until the problem has been sorted out. The TDP offers a free dispute resolution service that you and the Landlord can use, you’ll both be asked to provide evidence and the decision made about your deposit will be final.
There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the TDP scheme as soon as possible.
Information contained in this article may have changed since it was first published. Ezylet strongly advises you to seek legal advice from a qualified professional.