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What does a landlord have to do and when after he/she takes my deposit.

By Brad Askew on 05/11/2014 with comments

Written by Jordan Dowe - UWE Law Undergraduate

If you currently have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in England and Wales that started after 2007 your landlord is required to pay your deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme.

Tenancy deposit schemes are government backed and it allows for tenants and landlords to resolve disputes fairly and through an impartial third party.


A landlord is required to pay or register your deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days from the date of receipt. If the landlord fails to pay your deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme within that time they can face a fine up to 3 times the amount of the deposit.

Tenancy Deposit Schemes can be registered online by the landlord or letting agent.

There are two providers of Tenancy Deposit Schemes. 

The first is (DPS) Deposit Protection Scheme, they provide both a custodial and an insurance protection scheme.

The second is My Deposits, they provide only an insurance protection scheme. 

There are two types of Tenancy Deposit Schemes that are available to landlords and letting agents.

Insurance based scheme

The first is an insurance based scheme. An insurance based scheme requires the landlord to pay a fee for the deposit protection. The landlord will keep the deposit and must register it with one of the two providers. At the end of the tenancy the landlord and tenant should attempt to agree the basis for the return of the deposit. If there are is not a dispute over the amount to be returned it must be returned to the tenant within 10 days. 

If there is a dispute between landlord and tenant over the amount of deposit that should be returned, an insurance based scheme through the DPS requires a party to submit an End of Deposit Dispute Form. This form must be received within 3 months of the end of the tenancy. This will initiate an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure. 

The Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure requires the landlord to pay the deposit to the DPS. The DPS will hold the money until 1 of 3 outcomes is reached:

  • A decision has been reached.
  • A court order has decided the appropriate amount to be released.
  • Both parties have come to a signed written agreement.

My Deposits also uses an Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure in the event of a dispute between a landlord and tenant.


Custodial Scheme

The second type is a custodial scheme. This scheme is completely free to the landlord or letting agent. The landlord is required to pay the deposit to DPS within 30 days of receiving it. The DPS will then provide confirmation to the landlord and tenant with details of the amount of the deposit paid.

For the deposit to be returned, the landlord and tenant must complete a Joint Custodial Deposit Repayment Form. The deposit will then be returned within 10 days of the DPS receiving the form.

If a dispute arises between the landlord and tenant it must be stated on the Joint Custodial Deposit Repayment Form by both parties. However if one party does not agree to take part in the Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure, the dispute must be resolved by the parties or through the courts.