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Tenancy deposit scheme

Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receiving it.

In England and Wales the deposit can be registered with:

Providing you meet the terms of the tenancy agreement, leave your property in a good condition, and pay the rent and bills, your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. 

If there is a dispute, the deposit will be held in the deposit scheme until the issue is resolved.

Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you may pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed), but once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which your landlord must protect.

Your landlord must use a tenancy deposit protection scheme even if the deposit is paid by someone other than yourself, for example, by your parents.

Once your landlord has received your deposit, they must - within 30 days – give you the following information:

  • The address of the rented property
  • Confirmation of how much deposit you’ve paid
  • How the deposit is being protected
  • The name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme and its dispute resolution service
  • Their (or their letting agency’s) name and contact details
  • Confirmation of the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit
  • Any reasons why they would keep some or all of the deposit
  • How you can apply to get the deposit back
  • What you should do if you can’t get hold of your landlord at the end of the tenancy
  • What to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit

You can apply to the County Court if you think your landlord hasn’t used a TDP scheme when they should have.

If the court finds they haven’t protected your deposit, it can order that they repay it to you or pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days.

The court may also order your landlord to pay you up to three times the deposit within 14 days of making the order. It may also decide that you don’t have to leave the property when the tenancy ends if they haven’t used a TDP scheme when they should have.

Settling a dispute

The tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you and your landlord disagree about how much deposit should be returned. You don’t have to use the service but if you do, both you and your landlord have to agree to it. You’ll both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about the deposit will be final. The TDP scheme will refund the deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees.

You can ‘raise a dispute’ to get your deposit back if you can’t contact your landlord.

Contact MyDeposits if your deposit was held by Capita. The TDP scheme will refund your deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees. There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the TDP scheme as soon as possible.

Page updated on: 02/08/2017

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