Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Deposit Protection Service?

  • What is The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS)?

    The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is the Government approved provider of custodial and insured tenancy deposit protection schemes. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), as set out in the Housing Act 2004, requires that all agents/landlords protect their tenants' deposits under a statutory tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving a deposit. The DPS Insured scheme will protect that deposit throughout the period of the tenancy. The landlord will then repay the funds to the appropriate parties at the end of the tenancy period. The DPS is the only provider to offer both custodial and insured deposit protection schemes. Agents/landlords can register and make transactions online, but paper forms are also available. The scheme is supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

    If you still have questions on this matter please contact us using our Online Form.

  • Why has this legislation been introduced?

    The Government has recognised that a proportion of deposits taken have been unfairly withheld at the end of the tenancy. One of the primary objectives of the introduction of Tenancy Deposit Protection is to raise standards in the lettings industry and ensure even-handed treatment of tenants at the end of the tenancy. It encourages agents/landlords to set up tenancies correctly through the use of formal tenancy agreements, inventories, condition reports and other necessary documentation. The legislation aims to ensure good practice in deposit handling, so that when a tenant pays a deposit and is entitled to get it back, he or she can be assured that this will happen.

    The legislation also aims to assist with the resolution of disputes by ensuring an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service is provided. It will also encourage tenants and agents/landlords to agree - at the start of the tenancy - the condition and contents of the property.

  • Who is responsible for securing deposits?

    Under the Housing Act 2004, the landlord is responsible for protecting the deposit. If the landlord has instructed an agent to take the deposit, the ultimate responsibility will remain that of the landlord. The landlord must ensure that the agent is instructed to deal with the deposit in accordance with the legislation.

    If you still have questions on this matter please contact us using our Online Form.

  • Who can use The DPS?
    The DPS Insured scheme is open to all landlords and to agents that are associated with, members of, or accredited by RICS, ARLA, NAEA, NALS, UKALA or The Law Society. There are no membership fees. A protection fee is payable by the agent/landlord when registering a deposit through the DPS Insured scheme.
  • How much do I have to pay to use the scheme?
    The DPS Insured scheme is free to use for all tenants. Protection fees are payable by the agent/landlord for each deposit registered through The DPS Insured scheme. Details of the fees can be found via our homepage. The DPS does not charge any membership or annual renewal fees.
  • What constitutes a deposit?

    A deposit taken in connection with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy cannot consist of any property other than money under the Housing Act 2004.

    A deposit is intended to be held as security for:

    1. the performance of any obligations of the tenant, or
    2. the discharge of any liability of his or hers, arising under or in connection with the tenancy.

    If you still have questions on this matter please contact us using our Online Form.

  • What happens if a deposit has not been protected?
    Where a landlord fails to comply with Tenancy Deposit Protection, there are two sanctions:

    1. Unable to use Section 21 notice
    2. Under Section 21 of Housing Act 1988, a landlord can serve two months' written notice on a tenant in order to terminate a tenancy at the end of a fixed term, or after a fixed term has expired. However, where a landlord fails to comply with Tenancy Deposit Protection, no Section 21 notice may be given in relation to the tenancy until the legislation is complied with.

    3. Payment to the tenant
    4. Tenants can make an application to a County Court under the Housing Act 2004 if they believe that their deposit is not being safeguarded, or where they have not been given the prescribed information about the scheme in which the deposit is safeguarded within 30 days of the landlord receiving the deposit.

    Where the court is satisfied that the landlord has failed to comply with these requirements, or the deposit is not being held in an authorised scheme, the court must either order the landlord to repay the deposit within 14 days of the making of the order, or order the landlord to pay the deposit to the custodial scheme administrator.

    The court may also order the landlord to pay the tenant up to three times the deposit amount within 14 days of the making of the order.

  • When does Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) not apply?

    TDP only applies to deposits taken in connection with Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).

    ASTs are one of the most common forms of tenancy in the private rented sector. An AST is defined by the Housing Act 1988 and there are exempted occupations which cannot be ASTs, and to which TDP does not apply. The exemptions are where the tenancy began before 15th January 1989, where the annual rent exceeds £100,000, or where the landlord is resident in the property.

    If you still have questions on this matter please contact us using our Online Form.

  • Can I visit your offices with regard to my enquiry?
    We do not offer a counter service but, if you would like to deliver a communication personally, there is a drop-off box in our reception area. Please note, however, that it will not be possible to speak with any representatives from The DPS when delivering a communication.
  • What are the differences between The DPS Custodial Scheme and The DPS Insured Scheme?
    Please see the About Our Scheme page.
  • Is the deposit I secure with The DPS safe?

    All deposits registered through The DPS Insured scheme are protected by the scheme. The deposit itself is held by the agent/landlord throughout the tenancy.

    If you still have questions on this matter please contact us using our Online Form.

  • Is my deposit registered with you?
    You can check if your deposit is protected with us by using the Is My Deposit Protected? search form.
  • I live outside the UK, do you have a phone number I can contact you on?

    Yes, you can call our dedicated helpline on +44 (0) 870 707 1677.

    Please note not all telephone operators in other countries have agreements to route calls to non-geographic UK numbers. If you experience any problems reaching us please complete our Online Form.

  • Why does my deposit not show as protected?
    The 'Is my deposit protected' enquiry within the website does not show details of deposits that are no longer protected. A deposit remains protected until the end of tenancy date or it can be closed at the request of the landlord.
  • How much does it cost to call your helpline?
    All phone numbers starting with 03, including 0333, 0330 and 0300 (0345 and 0370 too) will always cost exactly the same rate as a local call (now known as standard rate call) to dial. These calls may be free as part of your inclusive minutes from your landline and/or mobile phone provider. However, you may be charged for the cost of calls made outside your call plan and/or inclusive minutes.

Contact Us

The Deposit Protection Service
The Pavilions
Bridgwater Road
BS99 6AA

Or call our dedicated help line on 0330 303 0030.

Our customer service centre operates Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 18:30.

Copyright © 2011 Deposit Protection Service, a trading name of Computershare Investor Services Plc. All rights reserved. Registered address: The DPS, The Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol, BS99 6AA.