The Tenancy Deposit Regulations first came into force in April 2007. However they were not well drafted and there have been two amendments since then.
The mandatory tenancy deposit rules only apply to assured shorthold tenancies (so will not apply to lodgers, company lets and other tenancy types). However most tenancies in the private sector are ASTs.
Basically, the rules are as follows:
- The landlord or his agent must protect the deposit with one of the three tenancy deposit schemes within 30 days of receipt of the money
- The landlord or his agent must also serve a notice giving prescribed information within 30 days
- If this is not done, the landlord cannot serve a valid section 21 notice until he has complied with the rules (the most important of which is to return the deposit money to the tenant)
- The tenant will also be entitled to bring a claim against the landlord (or the agent if the money was paid to an agent) for the return of the deposit and a penalty for non compliance of between one and three times the deposit
- Where the deposit is protected and the tenant disagrees with deductions made by the landlord at the end of the tenancy, the tenant will be entitled to ask for it to be decided by adjudication
- However either party is entitled to refuse adjudication and require the other party to bring court proceedings
- Where the deposit is protected, if the landlord fails to co-operate, the tenant is guaranteed to the return of their deposit eventually although in some cases it may take a while
The Three Schemes are
You will find a lot more detailed information on the scheme websites, part 5 of the E Course on this site and also in the blog posts below.
Landlord Law Blog posts
- Tenancy Deposits – what tenants need to know
- The Deregulation Act 2015 Explained 1- Old Tenancy Deposits
- The Deregulation Act 2015 Explained 2 – Deposits, Periodic Tenancies and Prescribed Information