Since April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
There are two types of tenancy deposit protection scheme available, which landlords and letting agents must be a member of one of the schemes. It is up to the landlord to choose which scheme they will use. For all of the schemes there are a set of rules that the landlord must follow.
Within 14 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with details of how the deposit is being protected including:
When you sign the contract and pay your deposit you should be given reference codes to check your tenancy details with one of these schemes.
The money is then held in an account by the scheme until you decide to leave, at which point it will be returned to you, unless the landlord tells the scheme that you owe money. The scheme administrator will then decide who should get the money back.
If the landlord does not place the deposit in a scheme, or does not provide the tenant with the information they need about the scheme, then he has broken the rules and the tenant can take action against him.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme should ensure that tenants’ deposits are treated properly. It should help to prevent landlords from keeping deposits that they are not entitled to and make it easier for tenants to obtain a refund of their deposit without taking court action.
If you have any questions or concerns about how your money is being protected, speak with us on 01392 278381 for a FREE initial consultation, where we can explain your rights and options. We can help you decide your next step.