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What is Tenancy Deposit Protection?


In England and Wales, if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes:

These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you:

  • meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
  • don’t damage the property
  • pay your rent and bills

Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of receiving it.  Landlords who fail to place their tenants' deposit in an authorised scheme can be taken to court.  They could face a penalty of one to three times the value of the deposit, which is then awarded to the tenant.


At the end of your tenancy

If you and your landlord agree how much deposit you’ll get back, it must be returned to you within 10 days of the tenancy ending.

If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit is protected in the TDP until the issue is sorted.


Holding deposits

Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). However, once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect.


Deposits made by a third party

Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, like a rent deposit scheme or your parents.




Many Renters are Unaware of the Deposit Protection Scheme

Apparently one in three renters is unaware of their right to have their deposit ring-fenced so that their cash is kept safe.

The average rental deposit a tenant has to pay is nearly a thousand pounds and prospective tenants should check that their landlord has met the legal requirements to place their money in a Government-backed scheme.

As well as protecting the deposit from being unfairly withheld, tenancy deposit protection schemes act as independent mediators, helping both landlords and tenants, if tenants believe unfair deductions have been made when a tenancy ends.


Housing minister Mark Prisk said: "Tenancy deposit schemes offer vital protection for both tenants and landlords, giving them financial peace of mind and offering neutral help to resolve disputes.



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