What is a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?

When renting a property, it is standard practice to pay a deposit – often this can be equivalent to a month’s rent upfront unless stated otherwise. How does your landlord keep your money safe until it’s due to be returned and why can you claim compensation if it isn’t protected?

With around 5 million people renting properties in the UK, and that figure set to rise over the next few years, it is important that tenants know their rights surrounding the return of their deposits.

A deposit is used to give the owner of the property some financial security in the event that the tenant damages the property or furnished goods go missing. By law, the landlord must protect the deposit to ensure that the tenants’ money is secure and that tenants will receive back what they are owed at the end of the tenancy.

Rent Deposit Claim
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION – Landlords have a legal obligation to protect a tenant’s deposit

The Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme was introduced in 2007 after landlords were found to be returning deposits slowly and/or making unfair deductions. The regulations came into place to ensure good practice in the area and to try and keep disputes between landlords and tenants outside of the courts by encouraging alternative dispute resolution. 

Since the introduction of the regulations, landlords now have a legal obligation to protect a tenant’s deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after April 6 2007. 

Landlords must put the deposit in a government-approved TDP within 30 days of receiving the funds, alongside providing the tenant with deposit details. 

In England and Wales, your deposit can be registered with three of the following government-approved tenancy deposit schemes:

Tenancy Deposit Scheme 
Deposit Protection Service
MyDeposits – including deposits that were held by Capita

If the landlord uses an agent, the agent is responsible for protecting the deposit within 14 days and giving specific written information within 28 days. 

The scheme administrators will hold the tenant’s deposit in an account, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to ensure the funds are safe. 

Rent Deposit Claims
IS YOUR DEPOSIT PROTECTED - If your landlord has not protected your deposit, you could be eligible for up to 3x the original amount back in compensation

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord must then return the deposit within 10 days of both parties agreeing on the amount back. If, in the event of a dispute about the amount, the TDP will hold the deposit until the issue is sorted. This means that the money remains protected, and the landlord cannot go silent on the tenant with their money. 

My landlord did not protect my deposit

If you have not had communication with your landlord or agent that your deposit has been protected, reach out to them in writing first. They may have just not got round to informing you yet. If it turns out that the deposit has not been placed in a TDP, you may be entitled to compensation by up to three times the amount of the original deposit. 

Each of the TDP schemes has a platform to check if your deposit has been protected. If you check and you cannot find your deposit, you can then file for a compensation claim.

How do I start a compensation claim against my landlord? 

Barings Law will help you from start to finish in claiming compensation against your landlord on a no-win no-fee basis. 

All you need to do is take a few minutes to complete our online form and send us a copy of your tenancy agreement and any receipts you have. Once you have done this, one of our legal experts will be in touch with you so that they can carry out a review of the circumstances surrounding your case. 

We will handle all of the negotiating with your landlord and we will always act in your best interests. 

You will never lose money by making a compensation claim at Barings Law. We do not ask for any upfront fees and if your case is not successful, we won’t charge you anything for our services.