What is the tenancy deposit protection scheme and is it free to use? There are several different types of tenancy deposit protection (TDP) used by landlords.
DEPOSIT PROTECTION SCHEMES: TDP is a method used to secure and protect a private tenant's deposit payment. Landlords must also provide certain information to their tenants.
This guide also explains what happens if your landlord fails to protect your tenancy deposit.
There is further advice about disputes and who to contact if you need help.
Are you a tenant renting a home on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) that started after 6th of April 2007? If so, your landlord must secure your rental deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
There are three official deposit protection schemes in England and Wales. They are for landlords who rent out property or rooms.
A TDP scheme can offer two different options:
What happens if you used valuable items to secure a deposit instead of money? Examples could include jewellery or an automobile. In this case your landlord would not need to secure the value in a tenancy deposit protection service.
The protection service gets backed by the government in the United Kingdom. This ensures that tenants will always get their deposit returned in full providing:
Note: There is a time limit for the landlord or their letting agent to secure the tenant's deposit. It must go into a scheme within 30 days of receiving the initial down payment.
At the end of the tenancy term you and your tenant should both agree how much deposit will get returned. Once agreed, the deposit must then get returned within 10 days from that agreement.
What happens if you are in a dispute with your tenants? In this case the deposit remains secured in the tenancy deposit protection scheme until the issue gets settled.
Holding deposits get paid by your future tenants to 'hold' or reserve a property before an agreement gets signed. There is no legal requirement to protect a holding deposit.
The holding deposit becomes a genuine deposit once they become your official tenants. That is when you must secure the down payment in a deposit protection scheme for them.
A landlord deposit protection scheme must get used even if the deposit gets paid by someone else. This is how tenant third party deposits work. An example of a third party deposit would be through a rent deposit scheme or by the parents of a tenant.
Landlords must give all the following information to their tenants. You should provide these details within 30 days of receiving the deposit:
What can happen if a landlord fails to use a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme when they must do? In this case a tenant can apply to a county court and at any time during the tenancy.
Failing to protect a tenant deposit means the court can either:
A court can order you to repay the tenant up to 3 times their original deposit within 14 days of making the order.
What happens at the end of a tenancy if you failed to use a TDP scheme when you should have done so. In this case a court may also decide that your tenants do not have to leave the property when the tenancy ends.
You should contact your TDP scheme free dispute resolution service if there are conflicts. You may disagree with your tenants about how much deposit should get returned. Landlords can also get help and advice from a solicitor or your local Citizens Advice office.
Landlord Deposit Protection Scheme Free to Use in the United Kingdom