The 2004 Housing Act requires that tenant's deposits for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales are held in a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDP). This prevents landlords from unfairly withholding tenant's deposits.
As a tenant there are a number of benefits associated with TDP:
The value of your deposit will be detailed within your tenancy agreement.
Before you handover your deposit it is advisable to insist that your landlord carries out an inventory and/or schedule of condition. This will record which fixtures and fittings are included within the tenancy agreement and will also document the condition of those items. This will help resolve any disputes that may occur at the end of the tenancy.
As a tenant it is also advisable that you obtain a receipt for your deposit. This will provide proof that you have paid.
Once you have paid your deposit to your landlord or lettings agent it will then be processed in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme selected.
There are two types of Tenancy Deposit Protection:
Whichever option your landlord selects, they are legally obliged to give you details about how your deposit is protected. This information should be provided within 14 days of the commencement of the tenancy. Details will include:
At the end of the tenancy you and your landlord will need to agree whether all or part of the deposit should be retuned. This will be dependent upon any reasonable deductions made by the landlord in respect of damage to the property, non payment of rent, or non performance of the terms of the tenancy agreement.
If an agreement is reached about how the deposit should be divided, the deposit will be returned in the way agreed by both parties.
If you and your landlord disagree on the return of your deposit, the case may, at your instigation, be referred to the relevant scheme under TDP legislation. An independent arbitrator will then decide if your money should be returned to you or used in payment against any loss or damage suffered by the landlord. The deposit will be held until the resolution service decides on the outcome.
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