Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with:
- Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
- MyDeposits - including deposits that were held by Capita
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Custodial and Insured)
If you don’t rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord can accept valuable items (eg a car or watch) as a deposit instead of money. The items won’t be protected by a scheme.
They make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you:
- meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- don’t damage the property
- pay your rent and bills
Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it.
At the end of your tenancy
Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back.
If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.
Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). Once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect.
Deposits made by a third party
Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, eg a rent deposit scheme or your parents.