Are you renting from a private landlord? Do you know if you'll get your deposit back?

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Are you renting from a private landlord? Do you know if you'll get your deposit back?

At the Tenancy Deposit Scheme we protect over a million deposits from being lost or unfairly withheld from tenants.

If you're renting from a private landlord with an assured shorthold tenancy should be protected in a scheme such as ours.

An assured shorthold tenancy means you paid your deposit to a private landlord and you don't share any accommodation with your landlord.

Your deposit should be paid back to you when your tenancy ends, unless you have broken the terms of your agreement and incurred costs for the landlord. Common reasons for withholding money from the deposit are:

  • Cleaning
  • Damage
  • Unpaid rent

Here at the Tenancy Deposit Scheme we resolve around 15,000 deposit disputes per year, and you will be amazed what seemingly bizarre or trivial arguments they can be about; we’ve had disputes over a goldfish, a stuffed gorilla and even a lemon squeezer!

If your landlord hasn't protected your deposit, you need to seek legal advice. Landlords who don't protect deposits may have to pay a penalty of between one and three times the deposit, return the deposit in full, and face restrictions on evicting the tenant.

You can check if your deposit is registered with TDS by using the Is my deposit protected? checker.

 

Landlords – are you at risk of penalties?

The Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation came into force in April 2007 as part of the Housing Act 2004. A landlord or the letting agent acting on their behalf must comply and protect tenancy deposits with an authorised scheme and issue prescribed information to the tenants.

If they don’t do so correctly, then the tenants can ask the courts to consider whether there has been a breach of the legislation to protect the tenancy deposit. The court can order the landlord or the letting agent to repay a tenancy deposit with or without deduction.

The court can also order the landlord to pay a penalty of between one and three times the amount of the deposit. This could mean a penalty of over £3000 with an average deposit value of £1040 plus the return of the deposit.

A landlord who has not correctly protected a deposit may also find that they cannot rely on a notice to end the tenancy and regain possession of the property under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.


Posted by on 3 February 2016

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