Landlords should where necessary and required to do so, protect their tenants’ deposit by putting them into a certified deposit scheme and there can be significant financial consequences for failing to do so. It is important for tenants to understand the benefits of a protected deposit and the implications of the same when occupying and leaving a property.
Our specialist property litigation team can advise in landlord tenant disputes including tenancy deposits, unpaid rent and property damage.
What is tenant deposit protection (TDP)?
Tenants usually have to pay a ‘tenancy deposit’ to their landlord when occupying a property which will usually be equivalent to four weeks’ rent but no more than five weeks’ rent or six weeks’ rent if the deposit is more than £50,000.
If there is an assured shorthold tenancy, the tenant’s deposit should be in a protected deposit scheme.
There are deadlines by which a landlord must protect a deposit depending on whether you paid before or after 6 April 2007.
What is a certified deposit protection scheme?
There are three government approved tenant deposit protection scheme providers:
The government has issued guidance on tenancy deposit protection here.
My tenancy deposit is unprotected
It is not compulsory for landlords to put all tenancy deposits into protection schemes however if a landlord has failed to protect a deposit the tenant may be entitled to compensation of up to 3 times the value of the deposit.
A landlord will have to repay the deposit back to a tenant before they can serve a section 21 notice for eviction, if the deposit wasn’t protected or was not protected by the deadlines above.
Does a tenancy deposit need to be protected?
It is not compulsory for all deposits to be protected. A landlord may have strong grounds for not returning a deposit and any disputes may have to be resolved through litigation if the deposit was not protected nor was it necessary to do so.
If you are currently engaged in a landlord, tenant dispute, get in touch with our property litigation team to assess your options.
My landlord failed to return my deposit
If a tenant is leaving the property and has paid all of the rent due to the landlord, and left the property in good condition, in compliance with the lease agreement, the landlord should return the tenant’s deposit.
Any deductions made by a landlord must be reasonably and evidenced by any financial loss they have suffered i.e. if the tenant has damaged the property or for any cleaning or service fees.
We can consider the lease agreement and relevant legislation and advise tenants and landlords on property disputes.
Successful case study: Litigation concerning an unprotected deposit
Our client was a tenant engaged in a property dispute with her former landlord as a litigant in person. Upon vacating a property she expected and requested the return of her deposit from her landlord but to no avail. She instructed us to assess her case and in advising her throughout the litigation, we subsequently obtained the return of her deposit in full from the landlord, together with her costs.
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Want your case assessed? Just fill out our simple enquiry form; it goes immediately to our litigation team in Middle Temple, London. Or call our London litigation lawyers on ☎ 02071830529 (9-6 GMT, M-F).
LIMITATION ACT 1980 – WARNING
The Limitation Act 1980 sets out strict statutory deadlines within which you must bring litigation claims. Your legal rights will become irreversibly time-barred if you fail to take legal action (or defend a claim on time). Therefore, you should seek specific legal advice about your legal dispute at the very first opportunity so that you understand the time you have left. Failure to take advice or delay in taking action can be fatal to your prospects of success.