FAQs

Learn more about our Frequently Asked Questions

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting us all, and the health and security of our customers is our priority. We have had many questions from tenants, landlords and agents – please see our Covid-19 resource page for the latest information.

TDS offers two methods of deposit protection: Insured and Custodial.

TDS Insured is an insurance backed scheme. This means the agent or landlord holds the deposit during the tenancy and the money is covered by our insurance. Deposits are only ever sent to us when we are asked to adjudicate in a dispute.

TDS Custodial is a free scheme where we hold the deposit during the tenancy. Both parties tell us how they wish the deposit to be repaid between the parties at the end of the tenancy.

Use of both schemes include access to our Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service if the landlord/agent and tenant cannot reach an agreement on how the deposit should be repaid.

If all the parties agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS will appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision, normally within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and evidence. If one of the parties does not reply to our notification, they are treated as consenting. In all these cases, the adjudicator will normally make a decision based on the evidence received within 28 days after the deadline for giving evidence.

In TDS Insured, the disputed amount must be paid to TDS to hold during the dispute resolution process, and any undisputed amount repaid to the tenant. When adjudication is complete, TDS will pay the money to the parties according to the decision of the adjudicator.

In TDS Custodial, TDS already holds the deposit. We will pay the undisputed amounts to the parties in accordance with the landlord/agent and tenant’s instructions, and hold on to the disputed amount until a decision has been made by the adjudicator.

The law requires that you comply with the initial requirements of your tenancy deposit protection scheme. At TDS our initial requirements are:

  • The Member must enter on the TDS tenancy database all the required details about a deposit if that deposit has not previously been protected.
  • After the Member has entered all the required details relating to a deposit on the TDS tenancy database for the first time the Member does not need to do so again. This Scheme has no initial requirements for Renewed ASTs and/or Statutory Periodic Tenancies if all details about the deposit were entered on the TDS tenancy database at the start of a prior tenancy.
  • Where an AST with a deposit began before 6 April 2007 and is replaced with a Renewed AST or a Statutory Periodic Tenancy after that date, the Member must meet the Scheme’s initial requirements. The deposit is deemed to have been received at the start of the Renewed AST or Statutory Periodic Tenancy, the statutory time limit begins, and all required details of the Deposit must promptly be entered on the TDS tenancy database.

Because of the bespoke nature of your business, corporate landlords are individually priced in consultation with our insurers. You can join by completing our online application form here.

Deposits on assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) must be protected with a government approved scheme.

The landlord or agent must protect the deposit and issue prescribed information to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

If there is disagreement over how the deposit is divided at the end of the tenancy, a dispute can be raised with the scheme and an impartial adjudicator will decide how the deposit should be divided based on the evidence provided.

Tenancy deposit protection is a requirement of the Housing Act 2004.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales operated by The Dispute Service Ltd. The Dispute Service is an industry owned, not for profit company.

A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord requires a tenant to pay at the start of the tenancy or which the landlord holds over from a previous tenancy with the same tenant. The money is security, in case the tenant does not meet their obligations in connection with the tenancy.

All deposits taken by landlords in relation to assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected. This includes ‘pet’ deposits and ‘garage’ deposits, but does not include holding deposits. (See more about these types of deposits below)

The landlord or agent must provide the tenant(s) and any one who paid the deposits on behalf of the tenant (classed as ‘relevant persons’) with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works. This is called prescribed information. It must be issued within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Click here for a prescribed information template and scheme leaflet.

A ‘material change’ is an important change to the obligations in the agreement. Most commonly this is a change to the rent or the deposit value. A material change could also be a change of tenant or landlord during the term of the tenancy. Please call our customer contact team if you are unsure.

No. A holding deposit is not a tenancy deposit for the purposes of section 212 of the Housing Act 2004 and does not need to be protected.

Deposit protection law came into force on 6 April 2007.

You should check your tenancy agreement as this will tell you what will happen to the interest. When a disputed deposit is paid to TDS, no interest is paid.

If all the parties agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS will appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision, normally within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and evidence. If one of the parties does not reply to our notification, they are treated as consenting. In all these cases, the adjudicator will normally make a decision based on the evidence received within 28 days after the deadline for giving evidence.

The disputed amount must be paid to TDS to hold during the dispute resolution process, and any undisputed amount repaid to the tenant. When adjudication is complete, TDS will pay the money to the parties according to the decision of the adjudicator.

For TDS Insured, you can look up your deposit using either the certificate code or the tenancy information here.

You will be able to raise a dispute from the tenancy summary page.

After you have raised a dispute the other party will be invited to respond, and be given 10 working days in which to do so.

For TDS Custodial, you should raise a request for repayment by logging into your online account.

If the tenant does not agree with the landlord/agent’s repayment request, the deposit will enter our adjudication service.

In TDS Insured, to respond to a dispute you must complete a Dispute Response Form. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online. Once you have been invited to give your response you have 10 working days in which to provide your evidence. If you are unable to respond to a dispute online, please call our customer contact centre for further guidance.

In TDS Custodial, you will be invited to submit evidence when it is time to do so. You can view the other party’s evidence and submit your own through your online account.

In TDS Insured, you must raise your dispute within 3 months from the lawful end of the tenancy. Disputes received after this time will be rejected unless there are very good reasons.

In TDS Custodial, there is no time limit after the end of the tenancy to start the repayment process, but once it has been started by either party there are strict deadlines which each party must meet.

We can only award money up to the value of the the deposit registered. There is no minumum dispute amount required, however if it is a small amount the parties should consider whether it is enough to justify the effort of using the dispute process.

In TDS Insured, any lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord with tenancies in England and Wales may apply for Membership. A landlord who is not a Corporate Landlord should join using TDS for Landlords membership.

In TDS Custodial, any landlord, lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord may join instantly here.

For detailed information read our guide ‘How to present your case to the TDS adjudicator’.

The adjudicator works on the basis that the deposit is the tenant’s money, and will only award money to landlords and agents if the evidence provided justifies that claim.

Documentary evidence is usually essential to prove a case, such as:

  • Tenancy agreement – this sets out the obligations of both parties and is essential for any case.
  • Check-in report and/or inventory – to show the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy
  • Check-out report – to show the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy – photographs or videos used in conjunction with an inventory to support the condition of items in the property.
  • Rent statement to show what the tenant paid, for what periods of time and what is owed (if anything)
  • Estimates – to show the approximate cost of carrying out work/replacing things. The more detail, the better.
  • Quotes – show the quoted cost of carrying out work or replacing things.
  • Invoices – show the cost paid/to be paid for carrying out work/replacing things
  • Receipts – show the cost that the landlord or agent has paid out

Do not submit documents if they don’t relate to the dispute. Adjudicators examine all of the evidence you send and if it is not relevant the process will take much longer than necessary.

All documents you give to TDS in support of your claim will be made available for the parties to the dispute to see via our Online Evidence Portal.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not send us evidence which you do not want the other parties to the dispute to see.

Either party may go to court if they prefer. We can only deal with their dispute if both tenant and landlord agree they want us to. However, if the landlord refuses to make a decision, we will deal with the dispute anyway. Most people prefer to come to us because they feel it will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful. Like the courts, we are independent and authoritative. We can deal with proposed deductions from a deposit, but we cannot award compensation or consider other matters away from the deposit.

No. TDS is not able to consider ‘set-offs’ or ‘counterclaims’ brought by either party. If there are other matters away from how the deposit is divided, we will not be able to form a judgment about these  and you should take independent legal advice on the best way to resolve them.

In the first instance, does your complaint relate to the progress of a specific case before we have made an adjudication decision? If so, we will have sent you updates that show the name and contact details of the person responsible for progress. Please contact them first.

If your complaint does not relate to a specific case, please contact our Contact Centre on 0300 037 1000.

The Contact Centre will help with your question or escalate it to a TDS member of staff, who will contact you directly. If you remain up happy, please send us your complaint within 28 calendar days of the problem arising. Please do this by email or letter using the addresses on the front of this leaflet. Putting your complaint in writing will help us understand it better and respond fully. Our email address for complaints is: complaints@tenancydepositscheme.com

Click here for more details about the complaints procedure.

We make our adjudication decisions after considering the evidence we receive in a careful and unbiased way. By referring the dispute to TDS you agree to be bound by the adjudicator’s decision. We are not able to reverse a decision made by an adjudicator because the disputed deposit will have been paid to the parties and we have no legal authority for retrieval or redistribution.

The complaints procedure allows us to consider any concerns you may have about the way TDS handled your dispute. We can only accept a complaint if:

  • – the adjudicator did not take into account evidence we received within the timescales stated in the Scheme Rules; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in Law; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in fact.

Click here for more details about  complaints procedures.

To become a Member of TDS Insured, applicants must:

  • have a Client Account with Client Protection Insurance;
  • pay the required Membership Subscription to TDS when it is due;
  • agree to abide by the Rules of this Scheme and with the Adjudication Rules.

To become a member of TD Custodial, applicants must:

  • agree to abide by the Rules of this Scheme and with the Adjudication Rules.

 

In TDS Insured, we offer preferential rates to members of the following approved bodies:

Housing Associations must be registered with the Homes and Communities Agency.

TDS Custodial is free to use and is open to all letting agents and landlords.

If you already hold annual membership of TDS Insured, we will calculate your subscription for the next membership year by taking an annual snapshot of the data in your account.

It is based on the number of deposits you are protecting, and discounts will be applied according to your performance in the previous year and for loyalty to TDS.

The snapshot for the 2021-22 membership year will take place on 24 January 2021.

Members should ensure their accounts are up to date in preparation for the snapshot. Guidance is available in this document: Prepare for the snapshot

There is no snapshot taken in TDS Custodial.

In TDS Insured, we offer preferential rates to letting agents who hold approved body membership, but we also offer an ‘unaffiliated’ route into membership, join here.

We will carry out an individual assessment to establish your suitability for TDS membership.

In TDS Custodial, all letting agents, housing associations and landlords can become members, regardless of approved body membership, and can join in just a few minutes here.

The law requires that you comply with the initial requirements of your tenancy deposit protection scheme. At TDS our initial requirements are:

  • The Member must enter on the TDS tenancy database all the required details about a deposit if that deposit has not previously been protected.
  • After the Member has entered all the required details relating to a deposit on the TDS tenancy database for the first time the Member does not need to do so again. This Scheme has no initial requirements for Renewed ASTs and/or Statutory Periodic Tenancies if all details about the deposit were entered on the TDS tenancy database at the start of a prior tenancy.
  • Where an AST with a deposit began before 6 April 2007 and is replaced with a Renewed AST or a Statutory Periodic Tenancy after that date, the Member must meet the Scheme’s initial requirements. The deposit is deemed to have been received at the start of the Renewed AST or Statutory Periodic Tenancy, the statutory time limit begins, and all required details of the Deposit must promptly be entered on the TDS tenancy database.

Because of the bespoke nature of your business, corporate landlords are individually priced in consultation with our insurers. You can join by completing our online application form here.

Deposits on assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) must be protected with a government approved scheme.

The landlord or agent must protect the deposit and issue prescribed information to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

If there is disagreement over how the deposit is divided at the end of the tenancy, a dispute can be raised with the scheme and an impartial adjudicator will decide how the deposit should be divided based on the evidence provided.

Tenancy deposit protection is a requirement of the Housing Act 2004.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales operated by The Dispute Service Ltd. The Dispute Service is an industry owned, not for profit company.

A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord requires a tenant to pay at the start of the tenancy or which the landlord holds over from a previous tenancy with the same tenant. The money is security, in case the tenant does not meet their obligations in connection with the tenancy.

All deposits taken by landlords in relation to assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected. This includes ‘pet’ deposits and ‘garage’ deposits, but does not include holding deposits. (See more about these types of deposits below)

The landlord or agent must provide the tenant(s) and any one who paid the deposits on behalf of the tenant (classed as ‘relevant persons’) with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works. This is called prescribed information. It must be issued within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Click here for a prescribed information template and scheme leaflet.

No. A holding deposit is not a tenancy deposit for the purposes of section 212 of the Housing Act 2004 and does not need to be protected.

TDS members should protect the deposit, even if it’s paid to them in instalments.

In TDS Insured, you should protect the deposit on the basis of the total amount of the deposit you expect to receive for the tenancy over its life and ensure that the instalments are detailed in the tenancy agreement. If an instalment isn’t paid and this will affect the sum registered – please contact us so we can adjust the certificate.

In TDS Custodial, you should give the ‘amount stated on the tenancy agreement’ as the total amount of the deposit you expect to receive for the tenancy over its life, and the ‘amount to protect’ as the total amount you have already received. You can then top up the deposit with each instalment once received by you. We will issue a new deposit protection certificate to the landlord/agent and tenant(s) each time.

The person paying the deposit on the tenant’s behalf will be considered a “relevant person”. This is a person, company or organisation who, in accordance with arrangements made with the tenant, paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant e.g. a local authority, employer, parent or guarantor.

In TDS Insured, this relationship does not need to be entered on to the TDS tenancy database.

In TDS Custodial, this relationship does need to be entered against the deposit protection.

The landlord will need to provide this person with prescribed information within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

The Deregulation Act 2015 resolves and clarifies issues in the law following the Superstrike v Rodrigues and Charalambous v Ng court rulings.

Click here to read our guidance on the Deregulation Act 2015.

If all the parties agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS will appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision, normally within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and evidence. If one of the parties does not reply to our notification, they are treated as consenting. In all these cases, the adjudicator will normally make a decision based on the evidence received within 28 days after the deadline for giving evidence.

The disputed amount must be paid to TDS to hold during the dispute resolution process, and any undisputed amount repaid to the tenant. When adjudication is complete, TDS will pay the money to the parties according to the decision of the adjudicator.

In the Insured scheme, if you remain the managing agent and the deposit stays in your client account, contact TDS and we will update the protection with details of the new landlord. There is no additional cost or break in protection.

If you hold the deposit and it’s protected on a ‘let only’ basis you must protect the deposit as new.

In the Custodial scheme, you can initiate a ‘deposit transfer’ into the new landlord’s TDS Custodial account, or update the landlord’s details through your account.

In both situations you must serve new prescribed information within 30 days of the change of landlord.

If you need to release the deposit to be protected elsewhere, act with caution. You are responsible to both parties for its safety. So some key advice:

  • Get written confirmation from the new landlord/agent of how the new deposit will be protected
  • If it’s going to be protected in a custodial scheme, only pay direct to the scheme
  • If it’s going to be protected in an insured scheme, only release it with confirmation it has been re-protected.
  • Inform all parties of what you have done and where the deposit is.

To join TDS as a Landlord click here.

To join TDS as an Agent click here.

For TDS Insured, you can look up your deposit using either the certificate code or the tenancy information here.

You will be able to raise a dispute from the tenancy summary page.

After you have raised a dispute the other party will be invited to respond, and be given 10 working days in which to do so.

For TDS Custodial, you should raise a request for repayment by logging into your online account.

If the tenant does not agree with the landlord/agent’s repayment request, the deposit will enter our adjudication service.

For letting agents, housing associations, and corporate landlords we offer an annual subscription (from 1 April to 31 March) based on an agreed number of deposits.

After one year of membership and subject to low disputes usage, generous discounts on our headline rates are available, as well as a loyalty bonus for continuing to be a TDS member.

Find our headline rates for letting agents and housing associations here.

TDS Insured for landlords works on a pay as you go basis, starting from £13.20 per deposit for the life of the tenancy agreement.

Find our rates for landlords here.

Members of the Residential Landlords Association and the LLAS receive lower rates by choosing our DepositGuard membership option. Visit www.rla.org.uk/depositguard for more details.

TDS Custodial (where we hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy) is free to use.

In TDS Insured, to respond to a dispute you must complete a Dispute Response Form. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online. Once you have been invited to give your response you have 10 working days in which to provide your evidence. If you are unable to respond to a dispute online, please call our customer contact centre for further guidance.

In TDS Custodial, you will be invited to submit evidence when it is time to do so. You can view the other party’s evidence and submit your own through your online account.

In TDS Insured, you must raise your dispute within 3 months from the lawful end of the tenancy. Disputes received after this time will be rejected unless there are very good reasons.

In TDS Custodial, there is no time limit after the end of the tenancy to start the repayment process, but once it has been started by either party there are strict deadlines which each party must meet.

We can only award money up to the value of the the deposit registered. There is no minumum dispute amount required, however if it is a small amount the parties should consider whether it is enough to justify the effort of using the dispute process.

In TDS Insured, any lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord with tenancies in England and Wales may apply for Membership. A landlord who is not a Corporate Landlord should join using TDS for Landlords membership.

In TDS Custodial, any landlord, lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord may join instantly here.

For detailed information read our guide ‘How to present your case to the TDS adjudicator’.

The adjudicator works on the basis that the deposit is the tenant’s money, and will only award money to landlords and agents if the evidence provided justifies that claim.

Documentary evidence is usually essential to prove a case, such as:

  • Tenancy agreement – this sets out the obligations of both parties and is essential for any case.
  • Check-in report and/or inventory – to show the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy
  • Check-out report – to show the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy – photographs or videos used in conjunction with an inventory to support the condition of items in the property.
  • Rent statement to show what the tenant paid, for what periods of time and what is owed (if anything)
  • Estimates – to show the approximate cost of carrying out work/replacing things. The more detail, the better.
  • Quotes – show the quoted cost of carrying out work or replacing things.
  • Invoices – show the cost paid/to be paid for carrying out work/replacing things
  • Receipts – show the cost that the landlord or agent has paid out

Do not submit documents if they don’t relate to the dispute. Adjudicators examine all of the evidence you send and if it is not relevant the process will take much longer than necessary.

All documents you give to TDS in support of your claim will be made available for the parties to the dispute to see via our Online Evidence Portal.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not send us evidence which you do not want the other parties to the dispute to see.

Either party may go to court if they prefer. We can only deal with their dispute if both tenant and landlord agree they want us to. However, if the landlord refuses to make a decision, we will deal with the dispute anyway. Most people prefer to come to us because they feel it will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful. Like the courts, we are independent and authoritative. We can deal with proposed deductions from a deposit, but we cannot award compensation or consider other matters away from the deposit.

No. TDS is not able to consider ‘set-offs’ or ‘counterclaims’ brought by either party. If there are other matters away from how the deposit is divided, we will not be able to form a judgment about these  and you should take independent legal advice on the best way to resolve them.

In the first instance, does your complaint relate to the progress of a specific case before we have made an adjudication decision? If so, we will have sent you updates that show the name and contact details of the person responsible for progress. Please contact them first.

If your complaint does not relate to a specific case, please contact our Contact Centre on 0300 037 1000.

The Contact Centre will help with your question or escalate it to a TDS member of staff, who will contact you directly. If you remain up happy, please send us your complaint within 28 calendar days of the problem arising. Please do this by email or letter using the addresses on the front of this leaflet. Putting your complaint in writing will help us understand it better and respond fully. Our email address for complaints is: complaints@tenancydepositscheme.com

Click here for more details about the complaints procedure.

We make our adjudication decisions after considering the evidence we receive in a careful and unbiased way. By referring the dispute to TDS you agree to be bound by the adjudicator’s decision. We are not able to reverse a decision made by an adjudicator because the disputed deposit will have been paid to the parties and we have no legal authority for retrieval or redistribution.

The complaints procedure allows us to consider any concerns you may have about the way TDS handled your dispute. We can only accept a complaint if:

  • – the adjudicator did not take into account evidence we received within the timescales stated in the Scheme Rules; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in Law; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in fact.

Click here for more details about  complaints procedures.

Because of the bespoke nature of your business, corporate landlords are individually priced in consultation with our insurers. You can join by completing our online application form here.

Deposits on assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) must be protected with a government approved scheme.

The landlord or agent must protect the deposit and issue prescribed information to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

If there is disagreement over how the deposit is divided at the end of the tenancy, a dispute can be raised with the scheme and an impartial adjudicator will decide how the deposit should be divided based on the evidence provided.

Tenancy deposit protection is a requirement of the Housing Act 2004.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales operated by The Dispute Service Ltd. The Dispute Service is an industry owned, not for profit company.

A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord requires a tenant to pay at the start of the tenancy or which the landlord holds over from a previous tenancy with the same tenant. The money is security, in case the tenant does not meet their obligations in connection with the tenancy.

All deposits taken by landlords in relation to assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected. This includes ‘pet’ deposits and ‘garage’ deposits, but does not include holding deposits. (See more about these types of deposits below)

The landlord or agent must provide the tenant(s) and any one who paid the deposits on behalf of the tenant (classed as ‘relevant persons’) with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works. This is called prescribed information. It must be issued within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Click here for a prescribed information template and scheme leaflet.

In TDS Insured scheme, we will send you an email reminder when the fixed term tenancy ends. When the tenancy ends without a dispute you must login to your TDS account and end protection of the deposit.

Download the website user guide for instructions on ending a tenancy.

In TDS Custodial, you should speak to the tenant in the first instance about any deductions you are seeking from the deposit and then enter a repayment request through your online account.

In TDS Insured,

You do not need to protect the deposit again if:

  • The tenancy continues on a periodic basis on exactly the same terms.

You do need to protect the deposit again if:

  • You enter into a new fixed term tenancy agreement
  • The tenancy continues on a periodic basis with material changes to the agreement, such as rent or tenants.

It is a requirement of TDS for Landlords Rules of Membership that you protect the deposit again in the circumstances listed above. Unless you notify us otherwise we will assume the tenancy is continuing as a statutory periodic tenancy on exactly the same terms and continue protection on this basis.

In TDS Custodial, you do not need to do anything as the deposit remains protected until a repayment request is made by either party.

A ‘material change’ is an important change to the obligations in the agreement. Most commonly this is a change to the rent or the deposit value. A material change could also be a change of tenant or landlord during the term of the tenancy. Please call our customer contact team if you are unsure.

No. A holding deposit is not a tenancy deposit for the purposes of section 212 of the Housing Act 2004 and does not need to be protected.

TDS members should protect the deposit, even if it’s paid to them in instalments.

In TDS Insured, you should protect the deposit on the basis of the total amount of the deposit you expect to receive for the tenancy over its life and ensure that the instalments are detailed in the tenancy agreement. If an instalment isn’t paid and this will affect the sum registered – please contact us so we can adjust the certificate.

In TDS Custodial, you should give the ‘amount stated on the tenancy agreement’ as the total amount of the deposit you expect to receive for the tenancy over its life, and the ‘amount to protect’ as the total amount you have already received. You can then top up the deposit with each instalment once received by you. We will issue a new deposit protection certificate to the landlord/agent and tenant(s) each time.

The person paying the deposit on the tenant’s behalf will be considered a “relevant person”. This is a person, company or organisation who, in accordance with arrangements made with the tenant, paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant e.g. a local authority, employer, parent or guarantor.

In TDS Insured, this relationship does not need to be entered on to the TDS tenancy database.

In TDS Custodial, this relationship does need to be entered against the deposit protection.

The landlord will need to provide this person with prescribed information within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

You should check your tenancy agreement as this will tell you what will happen to the interest. When a disputed deposit is paid to TDS, no interest is paid.

The Deregulation Act 2015 resolves and clarifies issues in the law following the Superstrike v Rodrigues and Charalambous v Ng court rulings.

Click here to read our guidance on the Deregulation Act 2015.

If all the parties agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS will appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision, normally within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and evidence. If one of the parties does not reply to our notification, they are treated as consenting. In all these cases, the adjudicator will normally make a decision based on the evidence received within 28 days after the deadline for giving evidence.

The disputed amount must be paid to TDS to hold during the dispute resolution process, and any undisputed amount repaid to the tenant. When adjudication is complete, TDS will pay the money to the parties according to the decision of the adjudicator.

In the Insured scheme, if you remain the managing agent and the deposit stays in your client account, contact TDS and we will update the protection with details of the new landlord. There is no additional cost or break in protection.

If you hold the deposit and it’s protected on a ‘let only’ basis you must protect the deposit as new.

In the Custodial scheme, you can initiate a ‘deposit transfer’ into the new landlord’s TDS Custodial account, or update the landlord’s details through your account.

In both situations you must serve new prescribed information within 30 days of the change of landlord.

If you need to release the deposit to be protected elsewhere, act with caution. You are responsible to both parties for its safety. So some key advice:

  • Get written confirmation from the new landlord/agent of how the new deposit will be protected
  • If it’s going to be protected in a custodial scheme, only pay direct to the scheme
  • If it’s going to be protected in an insured scheme, only release it with confirmation it has been re-protected.
  • Inform all parties of what you have done and where the deposit is.

To join TDS as a Landlord click here.

To join TDS as an Agent click here.

For TDS Insured, you can look up your deposit using either the certificate code or the tenancy information here.

You will be able to raise a dispute from the tenancy summary page.

After you have raised a dispute the other party will be invited to respond, and be given 10 working days in which to do so.

For TDS Custodial, you should raise a request for repayment by logging into your online account.

If the tenant does not agree with the landlord/agent’s repayment request, the deposit will enter our adjudication service.

For letting agents, housing associations, and corporate landlords we offer an annual subscription (from 1 April to 31 March) based on an agreed number of deposits.

After one year of membership and subject to low disputes usage, generous discounts on our headline rates are available, as well as a loyalty bonus for continuing to be a TDS member.

Find our headline rates for letting agents and housing associations here.

TDS Insured for landlords works on a pay as you go basis, starting from £13.20 per deposit for the life of the tenancy agreement.

Find our rates for landlords here.

Members of the Residential Landlords Association and the LLAS receive lower rates by choosing our DepositGuard membership option. Visit www.rla.org.uk/depositguard for more details.

TDS Custodial (where we hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy) is free to use.

In TDS Insured, to respond to a dispute you must complete a Dispute Response Form. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online. Once you have been invited to give your response you have 10 working days in which to provide your evidence. If you are unable to respond to a dispute online, please call our customer contact centre for further guidance.

In TDS Custodial, you will be invited to submit evidence when it is time to do so. You can view the other party’s evidence and submit your own through your online account.

In TDS Insured, you must raise your dispute within 3 months from the lawful end of the tenancy. Disputes received after this time will be rejected unless there are very good reasons.

In TDS Custodial, there is no time limit after the end of the tenancy to start the repayment process, but once it has been started by either party there are strict deadlines which each party must meet.

In TDS Insured, if you are a landlord, you need to create your free TDS for Landlords account.

Protecting the deposit is an easy online process. In your account you simply need to enter the details of the tenancy, the tenants, and the deposit being protected, and pay a small deposit protection fee.

When you have created an account download this Website User Guide for detailed instructions on registering a deposit.

In TDS Custodial, you can need to create your free TDS Custodial account here. In your account you simply need to enter the details of the tenancy, the tenants, and the deposit being protected, and pay the deposit to us.

We can only award money up to the value of the the deposit registered. There is no minumum dispute amount required, however if it is a small amount the parties should consider whether it is enough to justify the effort of using the dispute process.

In TDS Insured, any lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord with tenancies in England and Wales may apply for Membership. A landlord who is not a Corporate Landlord should join using TDS for Landlords membership.

In TDS Custodial, any landlord, lettings agent, housing association or corporate landlord may join instantly here.

For detailed information read our guide ‘How to present your case to the TDS adjudicator’.

The adjudicator works on the basis that the deposit is the tenant’s money, and will only award money to landlords and agents if the evidence provided justifies that claim.

Documentary evidence is usually essential to prove a case, such as:

  • Tenancy agreement – this sets out the obligations of both parties and is essential for any case.
  • Check-in report and/or inventory – to show the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy
  • Check-out report – to show the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy – photographs or videos used in conjunction with an inventory to support the condition of items in the property.
  • Rent statement to show what the tenant paid, for what periods of time and what is owed (if anything)
  • Estimates – to show the approximate cost of carrying out work/replacing things. The more detail, the better.
  • Quotes – show the quoted cost of carrying out work or replacing things.
  • Invoices – show the cost paid/to be paid for carrying out work/replacing things
  • Receipts – show the cost that the landlord or agent has paid out

It is extremely important that you only protect deposits for properties which you own. Members who protect deposits where they do not own the property or are not named as the landlord on the tenancy agreement risk termination of their membership.

If you do not own the property, you can join either TDS Insured or TDS Custodial as a letting agent.

Do not submit documents if they don’t relate to the dispute. Adjudicators examine all of the evidence you send and if it is not relevant the process will take much longer than necessary.

You can protect up to £25,000 of deposits using your TDS Insured for Landlords account. To protect over this amount we will need to see evidence of ownership; please contact compliance@tenancydepositscheme.com

There are no restrictions to membership of TDS Custodial and you can join in just a few minutes here.

All documents you give to TDS in support of your claim will be made available for the parties to the dispute to see via our Online Evidence Portal.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not send us evidence which you do not want the other parties to the dispute to see.

Because of the bespoke nature of your business, corporate landlords are individually priced in consultation with our insurers. You can join TDS Insured by completing our online form here.

There are no restrictions to membership of TDS Custodial and you can join in just a few minutes here.

Either party may go to court if they prefer. We can only deal with their dispute if both tenant and landlord agree they want us to. However, if the landlord refuses to make a decision, we will deal with the dispute anyway. Most people prefer to come to us because they feel it will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful. Like the courts, we are independent and authoritative. We can deal with proposed deductions from a deposit, but we cannot award compensation or consider other matters away from the deposit.

Any private landlord with tenancies in England and Wales can join TDS Insured for Landlords, or TDS Custodial.

To protect a deposit with TDS Insured for landlords:

  • own the rented property to which the Deposit relates;
  • be named on the relevant AST agreement as the Landlord;
  • be protecting no more than £25,000 of deposits with TDS at one time;
  • if protecting as a company, it must be domiciled in the United Kingdom.

You must also agree to abide by the rules of the scheme and the rules of adjudication.

To protect a deposit with TDS Custodial:

  • own the rented property to which the Deposit relates;
  • be named on the relevant AST agreement as the Landlord;
  • if protecting as a company, it must be domiciled in the United Kingdom.

 

No. TDS is not able to consider ‘set-offs’ or ‘counterclaims’ brought by either party. If there are other matters away from how the deposit is divided, we will not be able to form a judgment about these  and you should take independent legal advice on the best way to resolve them.

In the first instance, does your complaint relate to the progress of a specific case before we have made an adjudication decision? If so, we will have sent you updates that show the name and contact details of the person responsible for progress. Please contact them first.

If your complaint does not relate to a specific case, please contact our Contact Centre on 0300 037 1000.

The Contact Centre will help with your question or escalate it to a TDS member of staff, who will contact you directly. If you remain up happy, please send us your complaint within 28 calendar days of the problem arising. Please do this by email or letter using the addresses on the front of this leaflet. Putting your complaint in writing will help us understand it better and respond fully. Our email address for complaints is: complaints@tenancydepositscheme.com

Click here for more details about the complaints procedure.

We make our adjudication decisions after considering the evidence we receive in a careful and unbiased way. By referring the dispute to TDS you agree to be bound by the adjudicator’s decision. We are not able to reverse a decision made by an adjudicator because the disputed deposit will have been paid to the parties and we have no legal authority for retrieval or redistribution.

The complaints procedure allows us to consider any concerns you may have about the way TDS handled your dispute. We can only accept a complaint if:

  • – the adjudicator did not take into account evidence we received within the timescales stated in the Scheme Rules; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in Law; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in fact.

Click here for more details about  complaints procedures.

Click here to search the TDS database for your deposit.

If you have a Tenancy Deposit Protection Certificate, enter the code shown on the certificate.

Alternatively you can enter your surname, the deposit amount, the tenancy postcode, and the date the tenancy started.

You should also have details of your deposit protection written in your tenancy agreement and in paperwork you received at the start of the tenancy called ‘prescribed information’.

Deposits need to be protected on the standard type of tenancy with private landlords, called an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’.

Other types of tenancy do exist, so check the paperwork if you’re not sure. If you are a lodger (living with the landlord and renting a room) it is not an AST and the deposit doesn’t need to be protected.

There are three deposit protection schemes so if you cannot find it with TDS click here to use the Shelter Deposit Checker.

If your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit please seek legal advice. Landlords who don’t protect deposits are subject to a fine of between one and three times the deposit, must return the deposit in full and face restrictions on evicting the tenant.

A tenancy deposit is a sum of money which a landlord requires a tenant to pay at the start of the tenancy or which the landlord holds over from a previous tenancy with the same tenant. The money is security, in case the tenant does not meet their obligations in connection with the tenancy.

An assured shorthold tenancy is the normal tenancy for renting from a private landlord. The key features of an AST are:

  • it began on or after 15 January 1989;
  • the annual rent does not exceed £100,000;
  • the house or flat is let as separate accommodation; and
  • it is the tenant’s main home.

This is defined by the Housing Act 1988 (as amended).

The landlord or agent must provide the tenant(s) and any one who paid the deposits on behalf of the tenant (classed as ‘relevant persons’) with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works. This is called prescribed information. It must be issued within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Click here for a prescribed information template and scheme leaflet.

No. A holding deposit is not a tenancy deposit for the purposes of section 212 of the Housing Act 2004 and does not need to be protected.

Deposit protection law came into force on 6 April 2007.

The person paying the deposit on the tenant’s behalf is called a “relevant person”,  e.g. a local authority, employer, parent or guarantor. They don’t need to be entered into the TDS database but should be given the prescribed information to tell them how the money is protected. 

If your deposit is protected with TDS Insured, your landlord or agent holds your deposit. You should contact them requesting the deposit as soon as possible after your tenancy ends. You only need to contact TDS if you have a dispute with your landlord over deductions from your deposit.

If your deposit is protected with TDS Custodial, TDS will hold your deposit and you must enter a repayment request through your online account after the end of the tenancy.

If you are not sure who holds the deposit, check the tenancy agreement and the prescribed information you received at the start of the tenancy.

 

At the end of your tenancy, your landlord/letting agent will likely do a check-out inspection of the property to determine if they are looking to retain any of your deposit. They will also check that your rental payments are up-to-date. These actions take time, so you should approach your landlord or letting agent in the first instance to enquire about the return of your deposit and when you can expect this.

If your deposit is protected with our Insured scheme (which means that your landlord or letting agent holds your deposit) and you have requested it back from them and 10 days have passed, you are able to raise a dispute via TDS. We will notify your landlord/letting agent of your claim and invite them to state what they are claiming for and give evidence to support it.

If your deposit is protected with our Custodial scheme (which means that TDS holds your deposit), you can log in to your TDS account and request repayment of your deposit. We will notify your landlord/letting agent of your request and invite them to respond with any proposed deductions.

Your landlord can only deduct money from your deposit if you have broken terms of your tenancy agreement leaving the landlord worse off. Common reasons for deductions are:

  • Cleaning
  • Damage
  • Redecoration
  • Unpaid rent

The landlord can only charge to restore themselves to the position they would have been had you met your agreement.  The normal decline in condition of the property and its contents (“fair wear and tear”) cannot be charged to the tenant, and must be factored in to the amount charged for repairs, redecoration, or replacements.

For example, if you have broken a five year old sofa you should be charged the value of the five year old sofa and not the value of a brand new one.

If the landlord wishes to withhold some or all of the deposit, they should tell you as soon as possible after the tenancy has ended. The parties should discuss the matter to reach agreement on how the deposit is to be split. Most disputes are resolved informally in this way. If the deposit is protected with TDS Insured and the deposit has not been returned to the tenant within 10 days of the tenant asking for it , any of the parties can ask TDS to resolve the dispute.

Once TDS has been asked to resolve a deposit dispute, the landlord or the agent must send the disputed deposit amount to TDS. This is required by law and failure to do so within 10 calendar days of TDS requesting it be paid into the scheme, may result in TDS membership being terminated. The landlord or letting agent should release any undisputed amount accordingly.

You should check your tenancy agreement as this will tell you what will happen to the interest. When a disputed deposit is paid to TDS, no interest is paid.

At the end of your tenancy, your landlord/letting agent will likely do a check-out inspection of the property to determine if they are looking to retain any of your deposit. They will also check that your rental payments are up-to-date. These actions take time, so you should approach your landlord or letting agent in the first instance to enquire about the return of your deposit and when you can expect this.

If your landlord/letting agent does not inform you of any deductions, nothing will happen automatically and there is no fixed timescale within which they need to do so. However, there are steps you can take.

If your deposit is protected with our Insured scheme (which means that your landlord or letting agent holds your deposit) and you have requested it back from them and 10 days have passed, you are able to raise a dispute via TDS. We will notify your landlord/letting agent of your claim and invite them to state what they are claiming for and give evidence to support it.

If your deposit is protected with our Custodial scheme (which means that TDS holds your deposit), you can log in to your TDS account and request repayment of your deposit. We will notify your landlord/letting agent of your request and invite them to respond with any proposed deductions.

If all the parties agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS will appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision, normally within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and evidence. If one of the parties does not reply to our notification, they are treated as consenting. In all these cases, the adjudicator will normally make a decision based on the evidence received within 28 days after the deadline for giving evidence.

The disputed amount must be paid to TDS to hold during the dispute resolution process, and any undisputed amount repaid to the tenant. When adjudication is complete, TDS will pay the money to the parties according to the decision of the adjudicator.

For TDS Insured, you can look up your deposit using either the certificate code or the tenancy information here.

You will be able to raise a dispute from the tenancy summary page.

After you have raised a dispute the other party will be invited to respond, and be given 10 working days in which to do so.

For TDS Custodial, you should raise a request for repayment by logging into your online account.

If the tenant does not agree with the landlord/agent’s repayment request, the deposit will enter our adjudication service.

In TDS Insured, to respond to a dispute you must complete a Dispute Response Form. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online. Once you have been invited to give your response you have 10 working days in which to provide your evidence. If you are unable to respond to a dispute online, please call our customer contact centre for further guidance.

In TDS Custodial, you will be invited to submit evidence when it is time to do so. You can view the other party’s evidence and submit your own through your online account.

In TDS Insured, you must raise your dispute within 3 months from the lawful end of the tenancy. Disputes received after this time will be rejected unless there are very good reasons.

In TDS Custodial, there is no time limit after the end of the tenancy to start the repayment process, but once it has been started by either party there are strict deadlines which each party must meet.

We can only award money up to the value of the the deposit registered. There is no minumum dispute amount required, however if it is a small amount the parties should consider whether it is enough to justify the effort of using the dispute process.

For detailed information read our guide ‘How to present your case to the TDS adjudicator’.

The adjudicator works on the basis that the deposit is the tenant’s money, and will only award money to landlords and agents if the evidence provided justifies that claim.

Documentary evidence is usually essential to prove a case, such as:

  • Tenancy agreement – this sets out the obligations of both parties and is essential for any case.
  • Check-in report and/or inventory – to show the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy
  • Check-out report – to show the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy – photographs or videos used in conjunction with an inventory to support the condition of items in the property.
  • Rent statement to show what the tenant paid, for what periods of time and what is owed (if anything)
  • Estimates – to show the approximate cost of carrying out work/replacing things. The more detail, the better.
  • Quotes – show the quoted cost of carrying out work or replacing things.
  • Invoices – show the cost paid/to be paid for carrying out work/replacing things
  • Receipts – show the cost that the landlord or agent has paid out

Do not submit documents if they don’t relate to the dispute. Adjudicators examine all of the evidence you send and if it is not relevant the process will take much longer than necessary.

All documents you give to TDS in support of your claim will be made available for the parties to the dispute to see via our Online Evidence Portal.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not send us evidence which you do not want the other parties to the dispute to see.

Either party may go to court if they prefer. We can only deal with their dispute if both tenant and landlord agree they want us to. However, if the landlord refuses to make a decision, we will deal with the dispute anyway. Most people prefer to come to us because they feel it will be quicker, cheaper and less stressful. Like the courts, we are independent and authoritative. We can deal with proposed deductions from a deposit, but we cannot award compensation or consider other matters away from the deposit.

No. TDS is not able to consider ‘set-offs’ or ‘counterclaims’ brought by either party. If there are other matters away from how the deposit is divided, we will not be able to form a judgment about these  and you should take independent legal advice on the best way to resolve them.

In the first instance, does your complaint relate to the progress of a specific case before we have made an adjudication decision? If so, we will have sent you updates that show the name and contact details of the person responsible for progress. Please contact them first.

If your complaint does not relate to a specific case, please contact our Contact Centre on 0300 037 1000.

The Contact Centre will help with your question or escalate it to a TDS member of staff, who will contact you directly. If you remain up happy, please send us your complaint within 28 calendar days of the problem arising. Please do this by email or letter using the addresses on the front of this leaflet. Putting your complaint in writing will help us understand it better and respond fully. Our email address for complaints is: complaints@tenancydepositscheme.com

Click here for more details about the complaints procedure.

We make our adjudication decisions after considering the evidence we receive in a careful and unbiased way. By referring the dispute to TDS you agree to be bound by the adjudicator’s decision. We are not able to reverse a decision made by an adjudicator because the disputed deposit will have been paid to the parties and we have no legal authority for retrieval or redistribution.

The complaints procedure allows us to consider any concerns you may have about the way TDS handled your dispute. We can only accept a complaint if:

  • – the adjudicator did not take into account evidence we received within the timescales stated in the Scheme Rules; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in Law; or
  • – the adjudicator made an error in fact.

Click here for more details about  complaints procedures.