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    Tenancy Deposit Scheme

    Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Managed Properties: as you’re aware, no doubt, all tenants will give an initial deposit against possible damage to your property and when a tenancy comes to an end, providing they haven’t damaged your property, the tenants get their money back.

    Even if your property is a Let Only property, we can provide a similar service at a small additional cost.  It seems straightforward enough – but sometimes there can be a problem. When a problem with the deposit arises, being part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme can help.

    The Housing Act 2004 dictates that all deposits must be held under a dedicated, government-backed scheme. This means that at the start and end of any Assured Shorthold Tenancy, we’re obliged to register the details of any deposit taken. The aim of this is to protect deposits throughout the tenancy and to ensure the return of the deposit promptly at the end of the tenancy, providing there’s no dispute.

    At Julie Twist Properties, we utilise the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, run by The Dispute Service. If there is a dispute about the deposit, the scheme will ensure that it is dealt with fairly and quickly by an Independent Complaints Examiner (ICE).

    Property Inspections: for managed properties, we carry out inspections periodically to check on the condition of the property. At these inspections, a report is completed, a copy of which is forwarded to both the landlord and the tenant. These inspections are invaluable as they help give you peace of mind that your property is being looked after, and if there is a problem, it means that this is usually discovered before the end of a tenancy. We recommend that all landlords conduct inspections – whether through their lettings agency or by themselves.

    Common questions asked about deposits!

    When did tenancy deposit schemes start?
    The deposit scheme commenced on the 6th April 2007 but only in respect of deposits received on or after that date.

    Do I have to take a deposit?
    No – you are not obliged to take a deposit. If you do so, however, then you will have to deal with it in accordance with the tenancy deposit scheme. Otherwise you can suffer penalties. 

    What sort of tenancies will deposit protection apply to?
    All deposits taken by landlords in relation to assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales. It only applies where an AST is entered into

    Are there different types of scheme?
    Custodial Deposit Scheme (CDS). This applies, really, to private landlords. The tenant pays the deposit to the agent/landlord, who then pays the deposit into the scheme (government managed scheme). Within 14 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord/agent must register the deposit and pass to the tenant any information about the scheme being used. Insurance-based Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS). This applies more to agencies.  The tenant pays the deposit to the agent/landlord who retains the deposit and pays a premium to the insurer. Currently, the cost of these schemes will be the responsibility of the landlord/agent. Within 14 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord/agent must register the deposit and pass to the tenant any information about the scheme being used.

    What is a tenancy deposit?
    The legislation defines a tenancy deposit as money intended to be held as security to ensure that the tenant pays the rent and complies with the terms of the tenancy. Money is defined as cash or otherwise, so it would include cheques, bank transfers credit card payments, money orders and postal orders as well. The purpose of the tenancy deposit scheme is to protect sums of money, deposited with the landlord which are returnable so long as the tenant has paid the rent and has not otherwise broken the tenancy terms.

    Can I take a deposit in some other form?
    No – deposits can only be paid in the form of money.
    How long will the landlord have to take action?
    A landlord/agent will have 30 days to safeguard a tenancy deposit from the day he receives it. The landlord/agent will have to provide the tenant with prescribed information about the scheme safeguarding the deposit within these 30 days along with the Scheme’s tenants leaflet.
    What information does the landlord have to give the tenant?
    Within 30 days of receiving a deposit, landlord/agent will have to provide tenants will details of which scheme is protecting the tenancy deposit. This is the prescribed information. It must be accompanied by a copy of the relevant Scheme leaflet. Separately, the Scheme will give you an official certificate but this is not the same as the prescribed information.

    How long does a landlord have to return a deposit
    The landlord/agent must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDS scheme until the issue is sorted out.
    How do disputes get resolved?
    To avoid disputes having to go to court, both schemes are supported by an Alternative Dispute Resolution service (ADR), although the use of this will not be compulsory.  A dispute at the end of the tenancy can be referred to the ADR service, provided both parties agree to be bound by the ADR decision.  If either party does not agree to use the ADR service, the option of referring the dispute to the courts will remain.

    Related information

    Tenancy Deposit Scheme
    Value My Property
    Legal matters in rented property
    Get a Lettings Valuation