On this page are details of the scheme and advice on preventing deposit disputes. There is also available a printed guide entitled 'Tenancy Deposit Protection - a guide for tenants'. Copies are available from the Advice and Information Centre in Guildhall Two or you can download a pdf version - see related documents below.
What is a deposit?
A landlord will usually seek a deposit before offering a tenancy to protect them against losses due to damage, rent arrears or other debt incurred when a tenant leaves.
Deductions can be made from a deposit when a tenant leaves a property for:
Prior to agreeing the tenancy ask to see an inventory. This should confirm the condition of the property and the items provided.
No. Tenancy Deposit Protection applies to all assured shorthold tenancies.
Your landlord will not be able to provide you with a different type of agreement where the actual terms of the letting confirms an assured shorthold tenancy.
If you are at all unsure about your type of tenancy, and if your landlord must ensure your deposit is safeguarded by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, seek advice from any of the advice providers listed on page five of this booklet.
Yes, if you renew your tenancy with your landlord after 6 April 2007.
No, if your tenancy started before 6 April 2007 and you do not renew your tenancy.
No. Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes are free to tenants.
No. Tenancy Deposit Protection does not require the provision of an inventory but to help avoid disputes it is good practice for a landlord to do so.
Your landlord has a choice of ensuring your deposit is safeguarded in either a Custodial or an Insuranced Backed Scheme.
Both the Custodial and Insurance Backed Schemes provide for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to help both parties reach agreement to the return of monies. Should ADR fail to resolve a dispute then both parties retain the ability to take civil action in the courts.
Legal action should always be considered as a last resort and only taken where all other routes available have been exhausted and appropriate legal advice has been taken.
There are three government authorised Tenancy Deposit Scheme providers.
There is one Custodial Scheme provider:
The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS)
Phone: 0870 707 1 707
There are two Insurance Backed Scheme providers:
From 6 April 2007 where you provide a deposit to a new landlord, or renew your existing tenancy agreement, and where your landlord holds your deposit they have 30 days to notify you which Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme they are safeguarding your deposit under.
If your landlord fails to protect a deposit or fails to tell you what scheme they are using you can take them to court. The courts can fine a landlord up to the value of three times the deposit amount you have provided and order them to safeguard your deposit with a scheme provider.
If your landlord does not protect your deposit provided after 6 April 2007 (or where a tenancy is renewed) they will not be able to obtain a possession order under Section 21 Housing Act 1988.
Directgov - the UK Government website
Phone: 0845 609 0696
Leaflets available in other languages
Housing Advice Service
Phone: 020 8547 5003
Open: Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.00pm
Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm
Citizens Advice Bureaux - for free help and advice to landlords, tenants and homeowners on a range of issues including:
Phone: 0844 826 9701
Visit at the following offices:
Citizens Advice Bureau (Kingston)
Neville House, 55 Eden Street
Kingston KT1 1BW
Please see www.kcabs.org.uk for opening hours - see related link below.