If you’re a first-time renter or are currently renting, wondering whether your deposit money is safe and sound will be at the forefront of your mind.
In most cases, your money should be protected by tenancy deposit protection. But what exactly is this, and does it guarantee that your money is kept safe in a rental property?
At Easylet Residential, our letting experts have produced an in-depth guide exploring – if your deposit money really is safe with your landlord.
What is tenancy deposit protection?
In most cases, Generally, you’ll require a deposit to rent a property from a landlord or letting agency. Deposits are taken by landlords to ensure that any damages to the property or missed rental payments are covered in advance, so they are not left out of pocket.
Tenancy deposit protection is when your landlord places your deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP).
These schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit money back if you fulfilled the tenancy agreement and left the house in good condition with allowances for wear and tear.
Do landlords and letting agents legally need to place your deposit in a TDP?
Whether your landlord puts your deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme depends on the type of tenancy you’ve undertaken and the time it started.
Legally, your landlord needs to place your deposit in a TDP 30 days from when you paid if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that began after 6th April 2007 – this means your money is safe and secure, ready to be returned after your tenancy ends.
However, they don’t have to protect your deposit if you’re a lodger.
Is your money safe? Find out if your deposit is protected
If you’re already in a tenancy agreement, your landlord or letting agent will most likely tell you where your deposit is protected. It should be safe within one of three tenancy deposit scheme providers: the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, Deposit Protection Service or My Deposits.
However, if they haven’t informed you where your deposit is protected, you can check by visiting each provider’s site. You’ll need to submit details such as your postcode, the start date of the tenancy and your surname.
Finding out whether your deposit is protected will help you determine if your money is safe or whether you need to act.
What if your letting agent hasn’t safeguarded your deposit?
If your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, you could be entitled to compensation of up to three times the amount plus your deposit. However, if you’ve damaged the property or owe rent, money may be deducted from the deposit amount to cover repairs.
To claim, you’ll need to fill in a court form, send it to your local county court address, pay the court fee, and attend the hearing.
Ensure your money is safe by choosing a reliable letting agent
To make sure your money is well protected in a rental property, you should let a property from a trusted letting agent. Only a reliable company or landlord will protect your deposit, so don’t take any chances.
To determine whether a letting agent can be depended on, check their website for deposit scheme provider (DPS) accreditations or reviews from other tenants.
Are you looking for a new rental home? If so, we’re established letting agents who put tenant protection first and always protect tenant deposits. Call us on 01925 633 011 to speak to a team member and we can work together to find your new home.