Since April 2007, the law has required landlords who let their properties using Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales and who take deposits from tenants, to place or register the deposit with one of the three statutory tenancy deposit schemes (TDP). The government introduced the scheme to make sure a tenancy deposit is protected so that a tenant gets all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it and that any disputes between tenant and landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.
Landlords who fail to use a tenancy deposit scheme not only lose the right to automatically regain possession of the property at the end of a tenancy but may also face a financial penalty.
At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, a landlord or agent must within 30 days give the tenant details about how the deposit is protected. If you are a tenant and starting a new tenancy and don’t get this information, ask your landlord or agent the simple question – ‘how is my deposit protected?’
There are three authorised schemes which are available for landlords to use:
Deposit Protection Service (DPS) (external website)
Tel: (0844) 472 7000
MyDeposits (external website)
Tel: (0844) 980 0290
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) (external website)
Tel: (0845) 226 7837
When you move out, if you and your landlord or agent can’t agree how much of your deposit should be returned, each TDP scheme operates a free alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service.
If your landlord hasn't protected your deposit or refuses to give details of the scheme he or she has used, you can apply to a county court for an order to either pay back your deposit or to protect it in one of the TDP schemes.
Further information on the tenancy deposit scheme can be found on the GOV.UK website:
GOV.UK - Tenancy deposit protection (external website)