TTV would suggest that it is very unusual and suspicious if a landlord does not protect your deposit.
Court cases brought against landlords who have failed to protect deposits have resulted in the landlord being forced to pay the tenant a sum of compensation worth three times the deposit, as well as having to pay back the deposit. In one case the tenant was in rent arrears yet still received the same compensation.
If your deposit is not being protected it could be that your landlord is experiencing financial difficulties. Even if landlords are completely new to the business of rentals, they will know about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme as it is written into Tenancy Agreements.
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