Landlords are now required to place deposits with a Government authorised scheme, which will safeguard the money and offer independent adjudication in the event of any dispute.
By Law your landlord (or agent, if undertaking those duties) must also give you information about how your deposit is being protected and pay your deposit into one of the three authorised schemes within 30 days of receiving it. If you do not receive confirmation on which scheme your deposit is in after 30 days, write to your landlord to follow this up.
Is your deposit protected? You can double check by calling the schemes or look online:
1. Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
Telephone: 0330 303 0030
Telephone: 0844 980 0290
Telephone: 0845 226 7837
If your deposit has not been protected, you can take legal action to force your landlord to submit it into a scheme and may be able to claim three times the amount of the deposit as the law was breached. This booklet is useful in explaining the process and what action you can take.
At the end of your tenancy, you should contact the relevant scheme to return your deposit. They will contact your landlord and request it is returned to you. At this point your landlord will return the full amount or a reduced amount with an explanation of any deductions and provide evidence to support these deductions. Deductions can be made for damage to the property or unpaid rent. Once you have agreed an amount to be returned, your landlord must pay your remaining deposit to you within 10 days.
If you can’t agree with your landlord/agent over the amount of the deposit to be returned, you can easily contact the scheme where your deposit is held and register a dispute using the dispute resolution scheme. The dispute resolution scheme will investigate your dispute and decide how much deposit should be returned to you based on your evidence and your landlord’s evidence. Disputes must be submitted within three months of the end of the tenancy.
If you are unsure if your deposit is protected the Advice Service can advise you further. A Student Advisor can also:
Before taking any action feel free to contact us for a chat.