Deposit Protection Service

It is common practice to request a deposit from the tenant prior to them moving in; to ensure you are protected from damage caused by a tenant beyond normal wear and tear or in the case where a tenant leaves without paying the rent.  

It is usually equivalent to one month’s rent or six weeks and is taken along with the first month’s rent in advance.

It was introduced to:

  • promote good practice in deposit handling
  • encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements
  • provide a free service to resolve disputes

It requires all deposits for assured short hold tenancies (ASTs) to be protected in an approved scheme. If the deposit is held by an agent, then it has to be held as stakeholder; it is no longer possible to hold such deposits as ‘landlord’s agent’.

Deposits for tenancies created before 1st April 2007 does not come under this legislation, unless the tenancy has been renewed since that date by another term agreement. If the last fixed term agreement started before 1st April 2007 and/or has continued as a statutory periodic tenancy ever since, then there is no need to protect the deposit.

 Procedures that must be carried out:

  • The deposit must be protected within 14 days of its receipt, by either
    registering it with one of the insured schemes (for which there will be a fee) or sending it to the custodial scheme to be held by them
  • The tenant must be given all details of the chosen scheme within 14 days of the deposit being received by the landlord or his agent
  • Any agreed amounts of deposit’ must be returned at the end of the tenancy within 10 days of agreement being reached.

The details given to the tenant must include:

  • Contact details for the chosen scheme
  • The Landlord or agent contact details.
  • Details of how the deposit will be released
  • The reasons the deposit is being held
  • Procedure to follow if a dispute occurs

 Penalties

 If the deposit is not protected or the procedures are not followed:

  • The tenancy cannot be ended by servicing a section 21 notice
  • The court will order the deposit to be repaid to the tenant or protected under an approved scheme
  • The court will order the landlord to pay the tenant 3 times the deposit as a penalty

Should you require assistance the DPS process call us now or email us on: deposit@timesplace.co.uk