By sfb solicitors, Nov 22 2019 11:50AM
Tenancy Deposit Schemes (TDSs) became compulsory for all residential assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) created on or after 6 April 2007. The landlord does not have to protect the deposit if it was paid before 6 April 2007 and either the tenant did not have a fixed term tenancy, or the fixed term ended before that date.
TDSs were created under the Housing Act 2004 and are intended to prevent a landlord from failing to return a tenant's deposit and to ensure a landlord is not left out of pocket when a tenancy expires, and a tenant abandons the property.
Any money that is taken by or for the landlord as security for the tenant's liabilities in connection with the assured shorthold tenancy, will constitute a deposit that must be protected in a TDS.
In England and Wales, the deposit can be registered with:
• Deposit Protection Service
• MyDeposits - including deposits that were held by Capita
• Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The landlord or agent chooses which scheme to use and must provide the tenant 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.
At the end of the tenancy the landlord must return the deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much will be paid back. If there is a dispute with the landlord, then the deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.
If a landlord fails to join a TDS, the landlord may be liable to financial penalties and may be prevented from recovering possession of its property from the tenant.
If a landlord or agent fail to protect the deposit or protect it out of the prescribed timeframe the tenant has 6 years to make a claim for compensation.
Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.