Tenancy deposit protection schemes
As a landlord/agent, if you let a property on an assured shorthold tenancy which started after 6 April 2007, you must protect your tenants’ deposits using one of the following three approved TDP schemes:
- Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
If you live in the property with your tenants, you do not have to protect deposits, but it is still good practice to do so.
The schemes guarantee tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property.
The schemes encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements, and provide a free service to resolve disputes.
If you do not protect deposits, you can be taken to court by your tenant(s), and you may have to repay their deposit(s), plus three times the amount of deposit. You will also not be able to seek possession of your property in certain circumstances.
TDP schemes do not cover holding deposits. Tenants can pay holding deposits to secure a property, before they have signed a rental agreement. Landlords/agents are not required to protect holding deposits with a scheme before individuals become tenants. However, once someone becomes your tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit which must be protected with a scheme.
For further information visit the government website (gov.uk)