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Deposit Protection Law – A Guide For Students

Most students will already know that when renting accommodation from a private landlord there is a deposit to be paid. This money is held as security against any obligations which you fail to meet in regards to the rental agreement which you read and sign. The money you give to your landlord should be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme (TDP), this needs to be a recognised scheme and it should be done so within 14 days of the landlord receiving the money. An official, recognised scheme will ensure that you get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy if you have not damaged the property and where you have paid the rent in full.

What Types Of Deposit Scheme Are There?

If you are living in England or Wales, the landlord can select one the following three schemes to pay your deposit into:

  • My Deposits

  • Deposit Protection Service

  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

The Financial Conduct Authority regulates the three schemes listed above, ensuring that whichever scheme your landlord opts for, you won’t lose out and you’ll be compensated if the scheme goes bust. If you’re renting in Scotland or Northern Ireland there are TDP schemes but their rules vary slightly to the ones in England and Wales.

Obligations For Your Landlord

Having received your deposit, under the TDP scheme, your landlord has a list of things which they must confirm within 28 days.

  • Address of the property you intend to rent

  • Your deposit value

  • Details for the TDP chosen

  • Details of the dispute resolution service

  • Their own contact details and name

  • Reasons why they might keep your deposit

  • Procedure for you to get your deposit back

  • Steps you must take at the end of your tenancy if you cannot contact the landlord

  • Steps to take in the event of you disputing the landlord’s decision to keep some or part of your deposit

Some landlords will use an agent, if this is the case then the agent must put your deposit into a scheme within the 14 days and present you with the above information within the 28 days.

What Are My Rights As A Tenant?

You can take your landlord to court if they, or their agent, doesn’t take care of the above obligations. Before this happens however, you must write to your landlord to give them the opportunity to supply the information.

At the end of your tenancy your landlord or their agent should present a letter to you within 10 days to provide details of whether they will be returning all, some or none of your deposit and the reasons why. You can dispute their decision and your deposit will be protected by the TDP until a resolution has been reached.

How Is A Dispute Resolved?

Attempts must be made to resolve the dispute with your landlord yourself initially. If this fails you must request the TDP look into the case, where you have made reasonable attempts to resolve the issue, your case will be forwarded on without charge. An independent adjudicator will then look into the case, weigh up the evidence and arguments before deciding on what should be paid to whom. You can take your case to court personally but this would be done at your own expense.

Here at Simply Storage we provide storage options for students when living in rented accommodation in Surbiton, Wimbledon and Worcester Park. Whether you’re going on a gap year or returning home for the holidays, your possessions will be kept secure in high quality facilities until needed. Contact us today for more information and our team will be happy to help you select the best storage option for your requirements.

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