For many years, legislation and rules have been in place to protect tenant’s deposits. Despite this, many tenants are still unaware of the obligations imposed upon their landlords to protect their deposit.
This is especially relevant to students as they embark on potentially their first rental this month when commencing University. Of course, the same rules apply.
Government approved deposit protection schemes
Since 2007, it has been a mandatory requirement for all deposits taken on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, which is the most common type of tenancy, to be protected with one of three Government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.
What are my Landlord’s duties?
Your landlord must protect your deposit with one of the three Government-approved schemes within 30 days of receipt of your deposit. They must also provide you with the relevant protection information within that same timeframe.
Failure to do either of these results in a breach. Your landlord will therefore be potentially liable to pay you compensation for that breach.
In addition, your landlord must ensure that they re-protect your deposit when a new tenancy starts, even if no new deposit was provided. Failure to do this could result in numerous breaches of the protection rules.
How do I check that my deposit was protected?
The three approved schemes are through the following providers:
- Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
- Tenancy Dispute Service (TDS)
You can contact the scheme providers to check if your deposit has been protected through their service. If it has not for any of them, then you may have a claim.
What is the value of my claim?
Your landlord will be liable to pay you the sum of between 1 and 3 times the amount of your original deposit for each breach of the rules.
Will Bartley, Dispute Resolution Executive, explains “The amount of compensation awarded would be at the discretion of the judge, however a failure to protect your deposit can clearly be costly to your negligent landlord, and can in turn compensate you handsomely.”
How do you make a claim against a landlord?
Our Dispute Resolution Team have vast experience in all aspects of legal advice and proceedings between a landlord and a tenant, offering clear, practical and honest advice. We can help with everything from drafting a tenancy agreement to assisting with recovering rent arrears or evicting a tenant. We also advise and assist letting agents with any situations that arise.
In addition, we assist tenants who are facing issues with their landlord or rental property, such as advice on housing disrepair or unlawful evictions.
If you believe that your landlord has failed to protect your deposit or provide you with the necessary protection information, please contact our Dispute Resolution Team, who will be happy to assist you with your claim and we offer a free initial meeting or chat on the phone.
If you have any questions, you only have to ask us at Frettens. Please call 01202 499255 or 01425 610100 and Will or a member of the team will be happy to chat about your situation and your particular requirements.