Deposit protection

Renting out a property? Make sure you understand your responsibilities for safeguarding your tenant’s deposit, or you could face a fine.

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Protect your tenant’s deposit in one of these schemes by 6 May 2012

Changes in the law came into force on 6 April 2012. You must protect all your tenants’ deposits within 30 days of a tenancy starting.

Safeguarding your tenant's deposit

Why protect my tenant’s deposit?

All landlords must protect their tenants’ deposits in a government scheme. This means that you’re both protected if there is a dispute.

Landlords who don’t protect their tenants’ deposits after 6 May 2012 will face a minimum fine of up to three times the value of the deposit. This applies to all tenancies that started since 6 April 2007 — not just new tenancies.

How do I do that?

You must protect your tenant’s deposit in one of the government-approved schemes within 30 days of the tenancy starting.

You must provide your tenant with the following information within 30 days:

  • contact details for yourself or your agent
  • which of the three schemes you are using to protect the deposit
  • information about the purpose of a tenancy deposit
  • how the tenant can apply to get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy
  • what happens if there is a dispute about the deposit.

What happens if I don’t?

If you don’t protect the deposit within 30 days of receiving it:

  • your tenant can take you to court
  • the court will order you or your agent to pay compensation to the tenant —up to a maximum of three times the value of the deposit
  • it will be harder for you to evict a tenant.

Why is Shelter providing information for landlords?

Shelter wants to make sure that landlords understand their responsibilities, as this will make renting better for tenants and landlords alike.

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