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Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with:
They make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you:
Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it.
Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back.
If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.
Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). Once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect.
Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, eg a rent deposit scheme or your parents.
Once your landlord has received your deposit, they have 30 days to tell you:
Contact a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected.
Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
Telephone: 0330 303 0030
Telephone: 0844 980 0290
If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:
The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to 3 times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.
The court may decide that you won’t have to leave the property when the tenancy ends if your landlord hasn’t used a TDP scheme when they should have.
Your tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you disagree with your landlord about how much deposit should be returned.
You don’t have to use the service but if you do, both you and the landlord have to agree to it. You’ll both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about your deposit will be final.
You can ‘raise a dispute’ to get your deposit back if you can’t contact your landlord and your deposit is held by one of the approved TDPschemes:
The TDP scheme will refund your deposit if the dispute resolution service agrees.
There may be a limit on the time you have to raise a dispute. Contact the TDP scheme as soon as possible.
You can get more help and advice from: