Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Deposit Protection Service?

  • 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 can use The DPS?
    The DPS Custodial scheme is open to all agents/landlords. There are no membership fees or qualifying criteria to fulfil.
  • How much do I have to pay to use the scheme?
    The DPS Custodial scheme is free to use for all agents/landlords and tenants.
  • 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 is the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS)?

    The Deposit Protection Service’s Custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme is accredited by the Government, and is the longest running and largest Custodial scheme in England and Wales.

    It is provided free of charge, and funded entirely by the interest earned from deposits held in the scheme. The DPS was approved by the UK government to run an insured TDP scheme in September 2012 in addition to the approval it has already been granted by the UK government in respect of the custodial scheme. The DPS is run by Computershare Investor Services PLC. Online self-service allows landlords to register and make deposit payments, transfers and repayments 24 hours a day. Help and advice is available through a dedicated call centre during office hours. An impartial Dispute Resolution Service, helps to resolve any disputes quickly and without the need for court action.

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

  • Is the deposit I secure with The DPS safe?

    All deposits submitted through The DPS Custodial scheme are afforded client money protection, which means the funds are strictly segregated from other assets held by Computershare Investor Services PLC. In the event that Computershare Investor Services PLC is unable to or is precluded from operating The DPS, these funds will be safeguarded for all agents/landlords and tenants using the scheme.

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

  • What are the differences between The DPS Custodial Scheme and The DPS Insured Scheme?
    Please see the About Our Scheme page.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 have received a telephone call stating I owe money to The DPS, what should I do?
    We never make phones calls requesting that you pay money to a specific bank account. If you receive such a call please report it to your local police authority.
  • What are the operating hours of your contact centre?
    Our contact centre operates Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 18:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 - 13:00 (excluding Sundays and bank holidays). Our telephone number is 0330 303 0030.
  • 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.