dispute resolution

Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes for Tenants

All deposits taken for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

This came into place on 6th April 2007 and is applicable whether the deposit is taken by a landlord or letting agent.

What are they for?

The government-backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes are intended to:

• allow tenants to get all or part of their deposit back when they are entitled to it and make any disputes easier to resolve
• encourage tenants and landlords to make a clear agreement from the start on the condition of the property

What your landlord must do

Within 30 days of recieving your deposit, your landlord must pay your deposit into one of the schemes and give you the following information:

• the address of the rented property
• how much deposit you paid
• how the deposit is protected
• the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service
• your landlord’s (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details
• the name and contact details of any third party that has paid the deposit
• why some or all of the deposit might be retained
• how you should apply to get the deposit back
• what to do if you cannot get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy
• what to do if there is a dispute over the deposit

At the end of your tenancy

At the end of your tenancy, if an agreement is reached about how the deposit should be divided, your landlord must give you all or some of the deposit within 10 days of the tenancy ending.

If there is a dispute, then the deposit is protected in the TDP until the issue is sorted.

Tenants FAQ

Here are a selection of the most common questions we are asked by Tenants.

If your question isn’t answered below, you can get more help and advice from our team of solicitors. We have expert knowledge of all landlord and tenant issues.

What if my landlord doesn't protect my deposit?

If you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected, ask your landlord or contact the approved schemes:

Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
Telephone: 0844 4727 000

Telephone: 0844 980 0290

Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Telephone: 0845 226 7837

Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection
Telephone: 0845 412 9969

Information for landlords

If you think your landlord hasn’t used a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme when they should have, you can apply to a county court. You should get legal advice from a solicitor before applying to court.

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
• 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.

What if there is a dispute over the deposit?

Your tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you disagree with your landlord about how much deposit should be returned.

You do not have to use the service, but both you and the landlord must agree to it. You’ll both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about your deposit will be final.

What if I can’t contact the landlord?

You can ‘raise a dispute’ to recover the deposit if your landlord is registered with one of the government backed schemes (see above).

The scheme will refund your deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees this is fair.

There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the relevant scheme as soon as possible.

Information for landlords

If you are a landlord our article, Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes for Landlords will help.

Where can I get more help and advice?

You can get more help and advice from our team of solicitors who have expert knowledge of all landlord and tenant issues.

Call our solicitors at Wallace Robinson & Morgan on 0121 705 7571 or email enquiries@wallacerobinson.co.uk.

Further reading:

Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes - advice for Landlords (Landlord and Tenant Law)

This article is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute technical, financial, legal advice or any other type of professional advice and is no substitute for specific advice based on your individual circumstances. We do not accept responsibility or liability for any actions taken based on the information in this article. For more information, please click here.