The Tenants' Voice in partnership with Deposit Recovery Claims
Getting your deposit protected
Under the Housing Act 2004 (updated 6th April, 2007) your landlord is required to protect your deposit in a government-authorised scheme. Upon registering your deposit, the landlord must also serve you with a prescribed information pack by the scheme and the government’s “How to rent” pack. This must happen in a period of 30 days from the day you paid the money.
How to check if your deposit is protected ?
Ideally, you will receive the prescribed information pack which will include all relevant information about your deposit and the scheme in which it is being held, including all contact details. However, if you don’t have access to this information, you must contact each scheme operating in England and see if they have records of you, your property and your deposit.
To save time, you can use our Tenancy Deposit Health Check service. Simply fill in the details of your deposit and submit the form. Out trained advisers will perform a health check on your deposit and contact you with the results. You will receive information on your rights and options for resolving any problems if such are found.
Having your deposit returned
When your tenancy ends and you move out, you’re entitled to receive back your deposit, which is legally your property. The landlord has a limited time to make the final inspection, obtain quotes and propose deductions from your deposit. These can be for missing rent, caused damage or another breach of the tenancy agreement.
The landlord must return the non-disputed sum or the full deposit, depending on your case, in 10 days from you moving out.
If you can’t agree on the proposed negotiation you can use the free ADR service that is provided by your deposit protection scheme. Both the landlord and the tenant can initiate the service by contacting the scheme.
Use the Tenancy Deposit Health Check service to receive free consultation on your deposit and recommended options for solving any problems.
Claiming compensation from your landlord
If the landlord doesn’t comply with the law and you find that your deposit is not protected, or part of the procedure was conducted incorrectly, you can claim compensation between 1x and 3x the original deposit sum. You need to file a claim in the county court.
The size of the award is decided by the court and depends on the specific infraction and the circumstances surrounding it:
Claiming compensation if your deposit is not protected
To win the compensation, you must sufficiently prove that your deposit is not protected. You can do that by providing a copy of your tenancy agreement, where the starting date of the tenancy is recorded and signed by you and the landlord.
You can do that by providing several key pieces of proof:
- A copy of your tenancy agreement, where the starting date of the tenancy is recorded and signed by you and the landlord.
- A record about your property obtained from each deposit protection scheme (My Deposits, TDS and DPS), showing that your deposit is not protected for the period of your tenancy and under your name.
Claiming compensation if your deposit is protected
The deposit protection procedure is very strict and if your landlord doesn’t follow it properly, you may still be eligible for the compensation. Some examples include:
- Your deposit is protected under the wrong name
- Your deposit is protected after the 30 day period from paying the money to your landlord
- You have never received a prescribed information pack
- Your deposit was not re-protected after a tenancy has ended and a new tenancy agreement has been signed (mostly for joint tenancies where some tenants leave, but others stay)
Get free legal consultation
Depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to claim compensation up to 3x the original deposit. There are more factors than you may consider, so always consult a licensed professional before taking legal action.
You can get a FREE, non-binding consultation about your deposit from Tenant Assist. To do that:
- Complete the form with details about your tenancy deposit.
- You will be contacted for a free non-obligatory consultation about your deposit.
- This is FREE! You pay nothing if you decide to quit.
Get your claim filed and handled
Pending the consultation, you may be eligible for receiving compensation due to incorrectly protected deposit. The circumstances will dictate how feasible chasing this compensation really is. Deposit Recovery Claims will advise you on your odds at successfully claiming any amount.
If you decide to pursue, Deposit Recovery Claims can draft and file the claim in your name and handle the legal process until it is resolved with a court decision. This will cost you some fraction of the awarded sum (only payable upon securing the money). You will have to provide information and legal documents, like your tenancy agreement and deposit payment receipt.