Deposit Protection Scheme
Most landlords will ask you to pay a deposit when renting their property. The deposit is normally the equivalent to one month’s rent. The deposit must be protected in an official deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving your deposit, and you should be given information about where the deposit is being held, the proceedure to get your deposit back, etc (prescribed information).
The prescribed information includes a certificate from the tenancy deposit scheme with the following:
Some landlords may attach the prescribed information to the contract so you may only receive a certificate once the deposit has been protected.
Both you and your landlord should sign the certificate. It is important that this is kept safe as it may come in useful later on. Your landlord must also give you a copy of the scheme’s ‘Information to Tenants’ leaflet.
If you are a group, you may need to nominate a lead tenant who will represent your group and will be the main contact for the deposit protection service.
If there are any rent arrears or damage to the property at the end of the tenancy, the landlord may request to make deduction form the deposit to cover these costs.
The Different Schemes
There are three registered deposit protection schemes:
- The Deposit Protection Service
- My Deposits
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Landlords are free to choose which one they want to use, and from a tenant’s point of view they all offer the same protection.
The Custodial form takes the money from the landlord and holds it throughout the tenancy.
The Insurance form insure the deposits and landlords keep hold of the money throughout the tenancy. The money is only handed over to the scheme if there is a dispute.
A landlord will normally ask for the first instalment of rent to be paid on the first day of the tenancy or just before. In most cases rent is due on a monthly basis although some private halls ask for termly rent payments.
The easiest way to pay rent is by setting up a standing order so the money is paid directly into the landlord’s bank account. This way you won’t forget to pay your rent, it is easier to keep track of your payments and this is much safer than carrying cash!
Keep a record of all communications and correspondence with your landlord and preferably contact them via email. Request a copy of the tenancy agreement from your landlord and make sure you keep information about your deposit, what fees you have paid and receipts etc.
Deposit Protection Contacts
Deposit Protection Service
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
If you would like to read more about Tenancy Deposits you can visit Shelter.