#AskTDS: “I’m a first time landlord, is the TDS a government approved deposit protection scheme?”

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This article has been written in response to a landlord’s query: “I’m a first time landlord, is the TDS a government approved deposit protection scheme?”

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits operated by The Dispute Service Ltd.  The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits on assured shorthold tenancies in a scheme such as the one provided by us.  We provide both an insurance-backed deposit protection scheme and a free custodial deposit protection scheme where we hold the tenants deposit.

Our insurance backed scheme allows landlords or agents to register deposits with us, but they keep hold of the deposit.  At the end of the tenancy, the parties to the tenancy should discuss the return of the deposit and any proposed deductions.  If the parties agree, the deposit can be repaid as per the agreement and you will only need to mark the registration as ended on the TDS database.  If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, either party can raise a dispute.  In this case, the disputed portion of the deposit is sent to us to hold until the dispute has been through the adjudication process and a decision made.

Our custodial scheme is where a landlord or agent registers with the scheme and then sends us the deposit money to hold.  This is a free scheme and we hold the money until the end of the tenancy where the parties must engage with us to advise of the end of the tenancy and how the deposit monies should be distributed.  As with the Insured scheme, if the parties are unable to agree, the free dispute resolution service can be utilised.


The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.