If you are a Landlord then you are required by law to put your tenant’s deposit in a Government backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme if the tenancy started after the 6th April 2007.
There are three Government backed Schemes for England and Wales: –
- Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com)
- My Deposits (www.mydeposits.co.uk)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (www.tenancydepositscheme.com)
Please note that Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate Deposit Schemes.
The above named Schemes will apply for all tenancies on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis.
By law the Landlord or Letting Agent must place the deposit in a Scheme within 30 days of receiving it. They must also provide the tenant(s) with the following information: –
- The address of the rented property.
- How much deposit they have paid.
- How the deposit is protected – details of the Scheme including the name and contact of the tenancy deposit protection provider.
- Their name or their Letting Agent’s name and contact details.
- How to apply to get the deposit back.
- What to do if they cannot get hold of the Landlord at the end of the tenancy.
- What to do if there is a dispute regarding the deposit.
At the end of the tenancy when the amount of deposit has been agreed between the parties as to how much is to be returned to the tenant the Landlord is required to pay it back within 10 days of that agreement.
If there is a dispute then the three Deposit Schemes mentioned above have a free dispute resolution service which can be accessed by logging in to the relevant Deposit Scheme online and selecting the ‘Raise a Dispute’ option on the login page.
The Deposit Scheme will consider both parties’ input and then if they agree they have the power to refund the deposit or make deductions for the Landlord.
If a Landlord does not protect a tenant’s deposit then they will be in breach of the legislation that governs this area and a tenant can make an application to the County Court for the return of the deposit. If a Court finds that a Landlord has not protected the deposit it can order the person holding the deposit to repay it to the tenant or pay it into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s bank account within 14 days. The Court also has the power to make the Landlord pay up to three times the amount of the deposit within 14 days of the Order. The Court also has the power to decide that a tenant does not have to leave a property when the tenancy ends if the Landlord has not used one of the approved Schemes to keep the deposit.
If you are a Landlord or a tenant and you require any advice concerning deposits or the Tenancy Deposit Schemes available please contact our offices on 01654 711499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.