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Tenancy Deposit Schemes – Overview

Overview

Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with: Deposit Protection ServiceMyDeposits – including deposits that were held by Capita, Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If you don’t rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord can accept valuable items (for example a car or watch) as a deposit instead of money. The items won’t be protected by a scheme. There are separate TDP schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland. They make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you: meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, Don’t damage the property, pay your rent and bills, Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it.

At the end of your tenancy

Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.

Holding deposits

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

Deposits made by a third party

Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, such as a rent deposit scheme or your parents.

Information landlords must give tenants

Once your landlord has received your deposit, they have 30 days to tell you: the address of the rented property, how much deposit you’ve paid, how the deposit is protected, the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service, their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details, the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit, why they would keep some or all of the deposit, how to apply to get the deposit back, what to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy, what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit.