Tenancy deposit protection
For any rented property where the tenant has an assured shorthold tenancy which started after 6 April 2007 the landlord must ensure that the tenant’s deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of taking the deposit.
There are three tenancy deposit schemes in England and Wales:
Deposit protection offers a way for both landlords and tenants to be sure that when a tenancy comes to an end, deposits are fairly returned to tenants with any necessary deductions for damages or repairs to the property deducted in a fair way. Each of the protection schemes has an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service to resolve disputes relating to deposits without involving the courts.
Landlords must provide certain prescribed information to tenants about the deposit scheme they've used, and there are penalties if deposits aren't protected. For more information on this see the Shelter and Gov.uk websites.
It's important to note that should a deposit not be protected in one of the prescribed schemes, a Section 21 Notice to Quit cannot be served until the deposit is returned to the tenant(s).
* New legislation has been introduced regarding fees charges by letting agents and levels of deposits taken for tenancies. These are covered in the Tenancy Fee Act 2019.