FAQs

How can I check if I have a Tenancy Deposit claim?

Luckily, it is relatively easy to check whether you have a claim for compensation.

There are three tenancy deposit protection schemes that are protected by law. Your landlord has to put your deposit into one of these schemes in order to comply. These schemes are:

Clicking on the above three links will take you to their online platforms where you can check if your deposit has been protected.

If you have been told by your landlord that the deposit is protected but it is not in any of these three schemes, you may have a claim. You may also have a claim if your landlord has simply failed to tell you where the deposit is protected.

If you are still struggling to find out whether your tenancy deposit has been protected, our team are more than happy to assist. We can let you know if you have a claim within a couple of days.

How does the tenancy deposit claim process work?

You can begin your claim today by getting in touch with one of our advisors. We will ask you provide a few details. These include:

  • Name and contact details
  • Address
  • Tenancy start date
  • Date deposit was paid
  • Amount of deposit
  • A copy of tenancy agreement

We will then over the next couple of days confirm whether you have a claim for compensation or not. If we can confirm that your deposit was not correctly protected, then there is a good chance that you. All of these checks are completely free – there is no cost to you.

If there is an eligible case, we will send out our client care package to you including our T&Cs. You will sign this and a letter of claim is then sent to your landlord.

Your landlord then has settle the case within 14 days of receiving this letter.

If no satisfactory outcome is reached, the matter could go to court. However, this rarely happens and settlements outside of court are preferred.

During this claim, you are covered under a no win, no fee agreement, meaning if we are not successful you do not pay a penny. If the claim is successful and you receive compensation, we work on a 25% fee of this compensation.

 

How much is my tenancy deposit claim worth?

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. This means you claim could be worth anything up to:

Amount of Deposit

Potential Claim Worth

£100

£300

£250

£750

£500

£1,500

£750

£2,250

£1,000

£3,000

£1,500

£4,500

£2,000

£6,000

£3,000

£9,000

This amount can be a just reward for going through an ongoing dispute with a landlord who has failed to protect your deposit.

This can, however, be increased by potential multi-breaches. See below for more information.

Do I have a multi-breach tenancy deposit case?

Many people assume the compensation they will receive will simply be three times their deposit. However, this may not be the case.

The law relates to each breach. A breach is defined as every time a new tenancy begins and the deposit is not protected. This means many people have a multi-breach case.

For example –

  • Your deposit may be £500
  • Your tenancy is for 6 months
  • You renew this after 6 months and stay for another 6 – 12 months in total
  • This means there are two breaches
  • The claim for each breach can be up to three times the amount of the original deposit, meaning this particular case could be worth up to £3000.

Our expert team can tell you whether you have a multi-breach tenancy deposit claim. If you do, the compensation you are owed can be significant.

How do I start my Tenancy Deposit Claim?

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours.

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tenancy despot scheme

The Two Types of Tenancy Deposit Schemes

What is the difference between an insured deposit scheme and a custodial deposit scheme? Read what our experts have to say.

When renting a property, it is standard practice to pay a deposit – usually the equivalent of a month’s rent – upfront. 

You will pay this deposit to the letting agent or the landlord and, by law, they must submit that deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme. There are two different type of schemes – custodial and insured. 

The main difference between the two schemes is that:

  • In a custodial scheme, the money is held by the third-party scheme provider. 
  • In an insured scheme, the landlord can keep the money in their own bank account during the tenancy.

Why does a deposit need to be protected?

A deposit is used to give the owner of the property a degree of financial security in the event that the tenant damages the property or goods go missing. 

The landlord must protect the deposit by law. This ensures that the tenants’ money is secure and gives the tenant reassurance that they will get back what they are rightly owed at the end of the tenancy. There is a 28-day time frame from when you pay your deposit to the landlord or agent, for them to:

  • protect it with an authorised scheme
  • provide the prescribed information

The prescribed information will include information about the scheme chosen, such as contact details, how to make a claim at the end and details of the deposit and tenancy. 

You have a right to make a compensation claim against the landlord or agent if the deposit was not protected or if it was protected outside of the 30-day time frame. You have 6 years to make a claim. Naturally, it is advised to wait until you have left the property to avoid any potential dispute with the landlord whilst still living under their roof, but you can still make a claim if you are living in the property.

There are two types of schemes that your landlord can protect your deposit in.

What is a Custodial Deposit Scheme?

If you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), your landlord must protect your deposit. The most common way to do so is through a Government-backed custodial tenancy deposit schemes. These three schemes are:

• Deposit Protection Service

• My Deposits

• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

After registration, the third-party scheme provider takes custody of the money and holds it for the duration of the tenancy. You should be given a copy of the prescribed information and a deposit certificate that will include all the relevant information on the deposit and tenancy. 

Upon the end of the tenancy, the landlord or the tenant can then submit a request for the deposit and both parties must agree on the amount to release to each party.

If the landlord and tenant disagree on any deductions, a dispute can be raised, and this is where the custodial tenancy deposit scheme comes in. This can all be done online, via a portal to which both the landlord or agent and tenant can access. 

What is an Insured Deposit Scheme?

The main difference in the Insured Deposit Scheme is that the landlord or agent will retain the deposit for the duration of the tenancy. This allows them to control the money but requires a small fee to be paid to the scheme provider. 

Not all deposit schemes offer this method of working.

At the end of the tenancy, the landlord and tenant can hopefully agree how the deposit should be divided and consequently, the landlord returns all or some of the deposit without any third-party interference. This is often the quicker option out of the two deposit protection schemes when ending a tenancy, as there is no third party involved. 

If the landlord and tenant disagree the third-party scheme will step in. The scheme reimburses the tenant at the end of the tenancy should the landlord or agent be unable or unwilling to return the deposit (or proportion of) to the tenant, following a dispute process. 

The landlord is expected to send the scheme the disputed amount whilst the scheme makes their decision. It is the scheme that is insured, rather than the tenant, to cover the scheme’s liability to pay the tenant when the landlord or agent will not do so.

What tenancy deposit scheme is better?  

The pros and cons for both schemes are very similar, with not too much difference between the two. The main priority for you is ensuring that your deposit is protected with either a custodial or insured scheme. 

It appears that there is a growing preference of Custodial Deposit Scheme. Data from My Deposits, which provides both insured and custodial schemes, found the number of deposits put in its custodial scheme was up 24.4% annually in 2019, while use of its insurance-based alternatives has declined 8.3% over the same period.

Matthew Hooker, co-founder of Ome, the soon-to-be launched deposit replacement scheme said: 

There isn’t a huge difference between an insurance or custodial deposit protection scheme from a tenant perspective and both will deliver a certain degree of protection.

However, it’s clear that the industry is slowly moving away from the insurance-backed protection scheme and this is largely due to a focus on raising standards and increasing transparency across the sector.

What can a tenant do to help ensure they get their deposit back?

Dealing with a deposit dispute with your landlord can be stressful and costly for all parties so it is always preferable to avoid this.

One way to minimise the risk of a dispute is to have a comprehensive inventory. Prior to you renting the property, it is good practice for the landlord or agent to organise an inventory of the property. The inventory will detail the status of the full property including walls, flooring, fixtures and furnishings. The inventory then becomes helpful at the end of the tenancy and when you want to request your deposit back as this can be used as evidence to show the state of the property at the start of the tenancy compared to the end.

In the event that the landlord or agent do not get an official inventory drawn up at the start of the tenancy, then it would be good practice for you to take pictures of all areas of the house on your first day of moving in. You can then use these images if any disputes arise regarding damage to the property when you come to claim your deposit back.

How Can We Help

By law, under the Housing Act 2004, every landlord is obligated to protect a tenancy deposit into one of the three Government approved deposit protection schemes mentioned above. These schemes are:

• Deposit Protection Service

• My Deposits

• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

At Tenancy Deposit Claims, we have a dedicated team of experts who are used to dealing with landlords, day-in, day-out. If your deposit has not been protected and you do decide to make a claim against your landlord, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way.

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. 

At Tenancy Deposit Claims we make claiming for compensation easy:

  • No Win, No Fee*
  • No Upfront Payments
  • An Expert Team
  • Regulated and Authorised by The Solicitors Regulation Authority

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

lettings Scam

Tenants are falling victim to a new deposit fraud

Fraudsters are pretending to be landlords who ask for deposits up-front. 

Unfortunately for many in the UK, renting is becoming increasingly expensive. Zoopla reports that at the end of 2019, the average cost of rent increased by 2.6% – the highest growth rate in 3 years

Upon applying to rent a house, it is now industry standard for a tenant to be expected to have at least one month’s rent to pay upfront, a deposit and the associated fees for credit checks, etc.  

During this financially stressful time, the last thing a tenant would want is to fall victim to a deposit scam. However, there is a growing online trend of fraudsters claiming to be landlords who are doing just that.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, has warned tenants about fraudsters who are posing as landlords online in order to con people into paying upfront rent in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. 

The reporting centre says that since December 2019, it has received 28 reports of this fraud, amounting to a total loss of £19,990.

How does Tenancy Deposit Fraud work?

Prior to a potential tenant viewing a property, the fraudsters ask the tenant to pay a deposit and, in some cases, a month’s rent upfront.

They claim that the money will be protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and that the money is safeguarded under government legislation. 

Upon receipt of these funds, the potential tenant will then receive a fake email, claiming to be from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to confirm that the deposit has been registered with them. 

This, however, is not the case and the victim later discovers that the money has been sent directly to the fraudster who then disappears.

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, says: 

Devious fraudsters are targeting a whole host of victims, from university students to professionals, for their own selfish gain. 

Falling victim to rental fraud can have a huge impact on your finances at a crucial time where every penny counts. This is why it’s so important to follow our advice to protect yourself.

How can I protect myself and my deposit?

It is not industry standard to be required to pay any fees prior to viewing a property, so if you are ever asked to do so, that should be the first red flag. 

It is good practice to ensure that you or a trustworthy contact of yours has viewed the property with an agent or landlord prior to entering an agreement to rent a property. 

Most agents are well established online or on the high street, so you can often ensure their reliability through online reviews or word of mouth. The surest way to do this, however, is to check that they are members of a government-approved redress scheme. 

Since October 2014, all letting agents are legally required to be a member of one of the two government-approved redress schemes:

  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Property Redress Scheme

Using an agent that is a member of a redress scheme demonstrates that the agent is following the law and provides a third-party outlet for a tenant to complain if you are ever required to do so. 

For private landlords, proving their legitimacy may have usually been a trickier task, however, in 2016, RentProfile was launched by two brothers, motivated by their experience of being victims to fraud. 

RentProfile uses the Land Registry’s online services to look up and validate the property ownership of landlords in England and Wales.

Upon following the above advice and being satisfied with the outcome, it would then be sensible to request copies of the safety certificates and a valid contract. Once content with all the above, you should be in a more comfortable position to transfer funds. It is often recommended to pay these funds by card or bank transfer – not cash – to ensure there is proof of transactions if you ever need to report a complaint in the future. 

Once you have paid your deposit and the agent confirms they have logged it with a deposit protection scheme, you can check so yourself by entering your tenancy deposit certificate code on the relevant tenancy deposit website.

What is a tenancy deposit scheme?

There are three tenancy deposit protection schemes that are protected by law. Each of these schemes have a platform so you can verify if your deposit has been protected. These platforms are:

• Deposit Protection Service

• My Deposits

• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If you cannot find your deposit in one of these schemes, it is likely it has not been protected. We would advise getting in touch right away.

How can Tenancy Deposit Claims help?

Tenancy Deposit Claims are a group of solicitors who endeavour to protect tenants like you and their legal rights. We have a dedicated team who regularly deal with landlords.

If your landlord hasn’t protected your tenancy deposit, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way. 

If you have been told by your landlord that the deposit is protected but it is not in any of these three schemes, you may have a claim for compensation. You may also have a claim if your landlord has simply failed to tell you where the deposit is protected within 30 days. 

How Can We Help

At Tenancy Deposit Claims we make claiming for compensation easy:

  • No Win, No Fee*
  • No Upfront Payments
  • An Expert Team
  • Regulated and Authorised by The Solicitors Regulation Authority

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

tenancy dispute

Poor Communication to blame for nearly a third of Tenancy Deposit Disputes

A recent report into tenancy disputes with landlords highlights how good communication is key in solving most issues. 

Figures show that 30% of disputes between tenants and landlords are in relation to not returning their deposit, and not receiving any communication or explanation as to why they were not getting their money back. 

Poor communication ranked as the most common cause of dispute, followed closely by the cleanliness of the property, and disagreements in relation to damage sustained during a tenancy.

Other tenancy disputes related to general redecoration, missing or replaced items and outstanding rent arrears or bills. 

The statistics show that the total number of disputes processed through the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, mydeposits, has increased over the last three years. However, the number of escalated disputes reaching an adjudication stage fell by 2.9% for 2019 – showing an increasing appetite from both landlords and tenants to settle disputes early on in the matter.

The figures show the importance of communication, for both tenant and landlord. Tenants can raise very valid concerns in relation to the property, and how a landlord deals with that concern can paint a picture for the entire tenancy, whether positive or negative. The majority of any unpleasant issues faced by landlords and tenants seem to sprout from the soil of communication breakdown.

Scott Birchall, Director at Smooth Commercial Law, stated:

We often see problems stemming from the return of a tenancy deposit, making an otherwise satisfactory tenancy turn sour. 

More often than not, better communication between the two parties can solve disputes before any adjudication process.

Tenancy Deposit Disputes Figures

YearDispute NotifcationAdjudication MadePercentage going to AdjudicationChange
2016/20178702577466.4%N/A
2017/20188824570964.7%-1.7%
2018/20199323579262.1%-2.6%
Dispute CausePercentage of Disputes
Desposit not returned – No reason given30%
Cleaning23%
Damage to Property18%
General Redecoration13%
Other deductions – Reason unknown9%
Missing / replacement items4%
Rent arrears / outstanding bills3%

Figures taken from Property 118.

The figures show a steady increase of tenancy disputes being sent to the Government-backed “mydeposits”. A tenancy deposit not being returned to the tenants by their landlord with no reason given accounted for 30% of these disputes.

The figures also show an increase since 2016 of disputes being settled amicably, however. Figures released by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme company, TDS, also pointed towards disputes being resolved before adjudication. Of their 17,628 cases between April 2018 and March 2019, 23% were resolved in the pre-adjudication stage. 

The rise of cases being settled amicably is largely being put down to the success of Tenancy Deposit Schemes and their ability to protect tenants and their deposits. 

What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

When tenants begin renting their home from a private landlord, they will more often than not be asked to pay their landlord a deposit. This can sometimes be called a security deposit, and it is used to cover potential costs like:

  • Rent arrears
  • Damage to the property 

At the end of your tenancy, if all is well with the property and there is no damage or rent to pay, your landlord should give you back your deposit in full. If, however, you owe rent, you have damaged the property, or you have lost or broken some items from the inventory, your landlord may be entitled to take money from your deposit. 

If tenants rent their home on an assured shorthold tenancy, their landlord must protect their deposit in one of three Government-backed tenancy deposit schemes.

This is so that the tenant is protected against rogue landlords. This way, the landlord cannot use the deposit as income, or simply spend the money. They also have to go through a scheme to raise any deductions at the end of the tenancy, which you are entitled to dispute. 

Your landlord must put your deposit into a scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit, and tell you exactly where it is being protected.

How can Tenancy Deposit Claims help?

By law, under the Housing Act 2004, every landlord is obligated to protect a tenancy deposit into one of the three Government approved deposit protection schemes mentioned above. These schemes are:

• Deposit Protection Service

• My Deposits

• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

At Tenancy Deposit Claims, we have a dedicated team of experts who are used to dealing with landlords, day-in, day-out. If your deposit has not been protected and you do decide to make a claim against your landlord, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way.

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. 

At Tenancy Deposit Claims we make claiming for compensation easy:

  • No Win, No Fee*
  • No Upfront Payments
  • An Expert Team
  • Regulated and Authorised by The Solicitors Regulation Authority

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

tenancy deposit claim

What tenants want!

We asked over one hundred tenants what changes they would like to see the new Government introduce to offer them better levels of protection. The results were fascinating and thought-provoking. Here are the five most popular answers and our analysis as to whether they are plausible.

Introduce rent caps

The most popular suggestion in all of our discussions with tenants was in relation to a rent cap.  Over 25% of the students surveyed would like to see a maximum rent introduced linked to inflation, income or location. 

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn has suggested rent capping in London before but it failed to attract much attention in the recent election.  However, this is something that has been implemented in other countries. In the German capital, which has recently announced a five-year rent freeze, rents are controlled both within and between tenancies.  In New York City, some apartments have their rents capped by a board. 

As appealing as rent capping sounds, what couldn’t be agreed between our tenants was how this would be enforced and who would decide what the maximum would be. There are also concerns within the market that it could decrease the number of properties and ultimately the options available for tenants. Henry Pyor, a property expert, thinks rent caps are a bad idea: 

“If you impose rent controls it would destabilise the market. There would be a serious withdrawal of rented accommodation.” 

Registered Council Licences

One of the tenants survey, Danny, had an interesting suggestion in relation to dealing with rogue landlords and bad tenants. He proposed a new rule where all landlords and tenants have to be registered with the local council, in order to deter any bad behaviour. 

He went further to suggest that properties should also be registered and inspected before and after a tenancy to ensure that it is safe and well maintained. Whilst many of our tenants agreed that there needs to be better control of properties and individuals, it was not clear how this would be managed. Councils are already under incredible pressure to manage their own properties and with funding drastically cut in recent years, it is not something that could be rolled out without significant investment.

Whilst we like the motivation behind this suggestion in making processes more transparent, it is unlikely to be introduced by a Conservative Government who do not have any radical plans to increase local funding soon.

Allow pets

This is one for animal lovers! Many of our tenants felt that there shouldn’t be a blanket ban on allowing pets and that deposits should not be increased if they are accepted. Currently, under the Consumer Rights Act (2015), landlords can only refuse for pets to be kept in their property based on reasonable evidence. This would include refusal on the grounds on the animal’s size, the amount of damage it could cause and how this could impact being able to rent out the property in the future. 

The Labour party said in 2018 that, if in power, they would introduce a law that would require the landlord to provide evidence that the animal was a nuisance if refused. As far as we can see, this is not something that Boris Johnson will be changing any time soon. 

Landlords should repair properties without increasing the rent 

This is a bit of a grey area . Whilst the law does require the landlord to be responsible for most major repairs to your home if you rent privately, many of our tenants felt that this was too vague and that it did not go far enough. 

Gillian, a tenant, suggested that external agencies should check the state of properties before and during tenancies, holding landlords to account if they fall into disrepair. Again, it was not clear how this would be enforced and who would be overseeing this.

There are plans to extend the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act to force landlords to carry out improvement works to properties or risk being sued. However, we find that many tenants are unsure of their legal rights and are unaware of what their landlord is legally obliged to do to keep their home safe. The solution, therefore, may be better information for tenants as to what the landlord’s legal obligations are, and more accessible ways to challenge this should issues arise.

Better protection of deposits 

Deposits were a popular topic amongst tenants. Many felt that they should be transferred from one tenancy to another, with tribunals deciding on any disputes. Whilst there are plans for the Government to introduce ‘lifetime deposits’, there is a lack of clarification as to how disputes will be resolved and how this will help tenants whose deposits have failed to be protected properly. 

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) have expressed concern stating: 

“If the introduction of a passporting system is to be viable the government must ensure that both the outgoing landlord’s deposit can be used if needed, whilst the incoming landlord has certainty, they will get the full deposit that they have agreed with the tenant.”

More tenants need to know that if their landlord has failed to protect their deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme, they may be owed compensation.

Having read through over fifty suggestions from tenants all over the UK, we can safely say that more needs to be done. Tenants are not being protected enough and do not know their rights. Whilst we do not have any definitive answers as to what needs to be done and how, change needs to happen and we will continue to have these conversations.  

How can TenancyDepositClaims.co.uk help?

These suggestions are all fantastic and we believe there are some really useful points of discussion. However, while we welcome the idea of opening up a discussion, there are still thousands are UK tenants who are being treated poorly by rogue landlords in 2020.  If your landlord has failed to protect your deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme, you may be owed compensation. 

At TenancyDepositClaims.co.uk, we have a dedicated team of experts who are used to dealing with landlords, day in, day out. If your deposit has not been protected in one of the three Government-backed tenancy deposit schemes and you do decide to make a claim against your landlord, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way.

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. 

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

tenancy deposit claim

What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and how does it work?

This simple guide tells you all you need to know about tenancy deposits and how your landlord should be protecting them. 

The latest figures show that a staggering 4.5 million Brits are renting their home privately, and the trend is growing. It is becoming more important for those who do rent privately to be aware of their rights as tenants. 

Part of these rights include understanding how your tenancy deposit works and the legalities around it. In this short guide, our experts will discuss what a tenancy deposit is, the Government-backed schemes used to protect it, what happens if your landlord doesn’t protect it, and how much a compensation claim can be worth. 

What is a Tenancy Deposit?

When you begin renting your home from a private landlord, you will more often than not be asked to pay your landlord a deposit. It can sometimes be called a security deposit, and it is used to cover potential costs like:

  • Rent arrears
  • Damage to the property 

From 1st June 2019, the law states that the maximum this deposit can be is equal to 5 weeks’ rent. So, to work this out, if your monthly rent is £600:

  • £600 x 12 – To get the yearly rent = £7,200
  • £7,200 ÷ 52 – To get the weekly rent = £138.46
  • £138.46 x 5 – To get the maximum amount of deposit = £692.31

This limit applies to all assured shorthold tenants (AST) and students in halls of residence, as long as the yearly rent is less than £50,000. 

There was no limit on the deposit amount before the law changed on 1st June 2019.

At the end of your tenancy, if all is well with the property and there is no damage or rent to pay, your landlord should give you back your deposit in full. If, however, you owe rent, you have damaged the property, or you have lost or broken some items from the inventory, your landlord may be entitled to take money from your deposit. 

What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

If you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord must protect your deposit in one of three Government-backed tenancy deposit schemes. These three schemes are:

The reason for this is so that the tenant is protected against rogue landlords. This way, the landlord cannot use the deposit as income, or simply spend the money. They also have to go through a scheme to raise any deductions at the end of the tenancy, which you are entitled to dispute. 

Your landlord must put your deposit into a scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit, and tell you exactly where it is being protected. If your landlord uses an agent, the agent is responsible for:

  • protecting the deposit within 14 days
  • giving you specific written information within 28 days

The scheme administrators then hold your tenancy deposit in a special bank account, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, to ensure your money is safe and in case their scheme fails.

At the end of your tenancy, your landlord must then return your deposit to you within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If, however, you have a dispute with your landlord about the amount you are getting back, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will hold your deposit until the issue is sorted. This means your money is protected, and rogue landlords cannot simply run away with your deposit. 

What happens if my landlord doesn’t protect my deposit?

If you haven’t received notification from your landlord or agent that your deposit has been protected, in the first instance you might want to check with them in writing. 

If it turns out the deposit has not been protected, you may be entitled to compensation. It is wise to double check it has not been protected by checking with the three Tenancy Deposit Schemes. 

If you challenge your landlord and they concede, you can ask your landlord to 

  • repay the deposit to you
  • pay the deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme’s bank account within 14 days

How can I check if I have a Tenancy Deposit claim?

Luckily, it is relatively easy to check whether you have a claim for compensation.

There are three tenancy deposit protection schemes that are protected by law. Each of these schemes has a platform to check if your deposit has been protected. These platforms for checking are listed here:

If you cannot find your deposit in one of these schemes, it is likely it has not been protected. We would advise getting in touch right away. 

How much can a Tenancy Deposit Compensation claim be worth?

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. This means your compensation claim could be worth anything up to:

Amount of DepositPotential Claim Worth
£100£300
£250£750
£500£1,500
£750£2,250
£1,000£3,000
£1,500£4,500
£2,000£6,000
£3,000£9,000

This amount is supposed to be a deterrent for landlords not protecting your money. The schemes were introduced to help safeguard your deposit and ensure that you get it back at the end of the tenancy. The compensation that you receive if it has not been protected is aimed to reflect this. 

How can Tenancy Deposit Claims help?

Tenancy Deposit Claims are a group of solicitors who endeavour to protect tenants like you and their legal rights. We have a dedicated team who are used to dealing with landlords, day in, day out.

If your landlord hasn’t protected your tenancy deposit, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way. 

If you have been told by your landlord that the deposit is protected but it is not in any of these three schemes, you may have a claim for compensation. You may also have a claim if your landlord has simply failed to tell you where the deposit is protected within 30 days. 

Our team can let you know if you have a claim within a couple of days. 

You can get in touch with our expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

Source:

Figures for private renters

https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/ukprivaterentedsector/2018

Student tenancy help

Landlords under fire for treating students like “dumb kids”

A report by the BBC has shed light on unfair landlords who target students with tenancy deposit deductions. 

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme has exposed the often unfair practices some rogue landlords use on students in relation to their tenancy deposit. 

Various students and student bodies were interviewed on the programme, where they discussed unfair deductions, tenancy deposit schemes being ignored, and the students who are fighting back with a new rate-your-accommodation website. 

There are, of course, legitimate reasons for landlords and letting agents to deduct deposits. However, we heard from dozens of students giving stories of being penalised beyond the normal, reasonable and fair amount. 

Jessica Hickey, a graduate from the University of Lincoln, told the interviewer:

I think landlords look at us and think we’re just these dumb kids who don’t know what we’re doing. It’s not fair, it’s not okay.

Unfair tenancy deposit deductions

At the time of the interview, Jessica had been challenging her deposit deduction – amounting to £1,600 between four housemates – for two months. 

Jessica stated:

They decided we’ve not left the property in a fit state. Even though we’ve been there for two years – they’ve not allowed for wear and tear.

We’ve been charged for weeding – we’ve apparently left the garden in not a fit state even though we had the next-door neighbour come over with his strimmer.

Jessica also told the programme that they have been charged for issues related to the accommodation that they themselves had reported to the landlord earlier in the tenancy, asking for them to be fixed. 

The story was similar for Cardiff graduate, Benjamin McNeil, who had £900 deducted from a £1,400 deposit. Some of the deductions included: 

  • £150 for cleaning the property, though, Benjamin stated: “It was far cleaner when we left than when we moved in
  • £30 for rubbish removal, even though Benjamin said they ensured nothing was left behind
  • £100 “to essentially to paint over mould” in one of the bedrooms, which, he says, he had made the landlord aware of throughout the tenancy

Benjamin told the report that the issue had now been resolved, with £500 of the disputed £900 being returned. 

Tenancy Deposit Schemes are being ignored

The Tenant Fees Act was introduced earlier this year in order to safeguard tenants from unfair agency fees, but this does not cover the issue of tenancy deposit deductions. 

There have, however, been laws put into place to stop rogue landlords unfairly deducting money from the deposit. By law, under the Housing Act 2004, every landlord is obligated to protect a tenancy deposit into one of three Government approved deposit protection schemes. These schemes are:

The landlord is supposed to do this at the start of every tenancy. These schemes protect the deposit while any potential dispute is resolved fairly.

The students on the BBC report claimed that the requirement to protect their deposit in a Government approved scheme is often being ignored. We know that, if this is the case, you may have a claim for compensation after lodging a tenancy deposit claim. 

Nation Union of Students – More needs to be done

The National Union of Students (NUS) conducted a “Homes Fit for Study” report earlier in 2019. In that report they found that four in ten students renting privately live in hazardous properties. 

They also found that only 61% of surveyed students who paid a deposit said they had received it back in full at the end of their tenancy. They discovered that:

  • 27% said they had challenged the deductions formally but ended up paying them anyway
  • 24% said they had not formally challenged the deductions but had disagreed with them

The organisation’s vice-president, Eva Crossan Jory, stated:

What we’re seeing more and more is unfair contracts. 

Landlords charging for things that are the result of wear-and-tear or where students have complained about something not working, the landlord doesn’t fix it and then at the end of the tenancy tries to charge them for the breaking of said appliance

The government should be doing more to penalise landlords when they do break the law.

Students fighting back with CribAdvisor

Some students in Lincoln have taken matters into their own hands by creating a rate-your-accommodation website which may be able to give power back to tenants. 

On CribAdvisor students can find reputable landlords, and can also share their horror stories. This can help other students avoid being ripped off by rouge landlords. 

Launched in July 2019 for students in Lincoln, CribAdvisor has already received more than 450 reviews and will soon open to students at universities throughout the UK. The students who built the site hope the platform will allow tenants to make informed decisions and hold providers to account.

How can Tenancy Deposit Claims help?

While CribAdvisor is a brilliant idea, sometimes you need a helping hand when tackling rouge landlords. If your landlord has failed to protect your deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme, you may be owed compensation. 

At Tenancy Deposit Claims, we have a dedicated team of experts who are used to dealing with landlords, day in, day out. If your deposit has not been protected and you do decide to make a claim against your landlord, we are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and we will keep you up to date in relation to your case, every step of the way.

Your landlord is liable for up to three times the amount of the original deposit. 

You can get in touch with expert team today by completing our online enquiry form here. Enter your details and we will be sure to get back in touch with you within 48 hours. 

Alternatively, you can call us directly, Monday – Friday, 9am-6:30pm on 0800 464 0014.

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