Information For Tenants

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Whether you’ve just had a deposit protected, are going through the repayment process, or just want to know about Tenancy Deposit Protection, we have all the information you need.

Before you decide to rent a property there are certain things you should consider. We’ve created a useful checklist to help you find the perfect home. You can also speak to previous tenants and neighbours to give you a better idea of the property, area and letting agent/landlord.

Overview of Tenancy Deposit ProtectionDeposit DisputesReturn of your deposit

Overview of Tenancy Deposit Protection

Useful tools

We've pulled together a couple of checklists to help you decide which property you'd like to live in:

Our tenant's checklist

DCLG - How to rent checklist

What should you know about Tenancy Deposit Protection?

Tenancy Deposit Protection was introduced in April 2007 as part of the Housing Act 2004 for all assured shorthold tenancies in England and Wales where a deposit was taken, as a way to raise standards in the lettings industry and ensure you are treated fairly at the end of the tenancy.

What are your landlord's legal obligations around Tenancy Deposit Protection?

Your landlord is required to protect your deposit within 30 days of receiving it. Your deposit is considered received from the moment they have the money (whether it’s a cheque, a bank transfer or cash), and not when the funds have cleared.

If they fail to comply with their legal obligations, there are two possible sanctions:

  1. They cannot end the tenancy or regain possession of your property under section 21 of the Housing Act 1998 until the deposit has been repaid or a court case has ended.
  2. You can apply to a County Court to receive compensation between once and three times your deposit’s value if:
    • you think your deposit is not protected
    • you’ve not received information about the scheme your landlord has protected your deposit with.

What are the different types of scheme?

Your landlord has a choice of two Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes; Custodial or Insured.


  • Your landlord/letting agent will give us your deposit to look after for the duration of your tenancy.
  • At the end of your tenancy, the deposit is released by us once both parties have agreed on its distribution.

For more information about our Custodial scheme download our tenant’s guide.


  • Your letting agent/landlord will retain your deposit for the period of the tenancy, but they have paid us a small fee to protect it.
  • Your letting agent/landlord will be responsible for returning your deposit to you at the end of your tenancy.

For more information about our Insured scheme download our tenant’s guide.

What happens at the end of your tenancy?

At the end of your tenancy you and your landlord need to agree how your deposit will be repaid. It’s important we hear from you both. In the event you’re unable to agree on how your deposit should be repaid, our free independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service can be used to resolve your dispute. Find out more below.

Overseas Payment

We offer an overseas payment option when a Sterling payment is sent outside the UK. When you request a repayment or submit a repayment response, you can choose which country the bank receiving the payment is located in, and provide the account details.

Deposit Disputes

What are they?

A deposit dispute occurs when you and your landlord disagree with the amount of money they wish to deduct from your deposit. As a result you and your landlord are entitled to raise a dispute with our adjudication team; starting the Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

How does it work?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a way of resolving deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy, rather than using the traditional route of the Courts. In the event of a dispute arising, the decision about who should receive the deposit is made by an impartial qualified adjudicator. The adjudicator will make their decision in an unbiased way, based on the evidence each party provides.

If you’re involved in a dispute with your landlord you’ll be required to submit evidence, which can include; photographs, inventories, invoices and/or other relevant information. You’ll need to supply this within a specified timescale. Our adjudicator will consider all of the evidence submitted and decide how the deposit should be distributed. The more evidence you can collect the stronger your case will be.

The deposit remains as your property until your landlord has successfully claimed all or part of it. You and your landlord must consent to using our Alternative Dispute Resolution service before we can review the case.

How much does it cost?

Our Alternative Dispute Resolution service is free.

What are the submission deadlines?

If you or your landlord decides to claim all or part of the deposit, you must provide us with either a Joint Deposit Repayment Form, if it’s a Joint Repayment, or a Statutory Declaration if it’s a Single Claim. Both types of claim must be received by us as soon as possible after the tenancy has finished. Your evidence must have been received by us within 14 days of our request for evidence. It will then be passed to one of our adjudicators who’ll then have 28 days from the date of receiving the case file to make a decision.

For more information about deposit disputes visit Our Processes page for our guides.

Return of your deposit

What might affect the return of your deposit?

We want you to be confident you’ll receive your whole deposit back when your tenancy ends so we’ve created a common list of reasons why your letting agent/landlord may claim all or part of your deposit:

  • Rent arrears – if you either miss a payment or you leave the property without paying the last month.
  • Outstanding utilities and bills – if your landlord is required to pay outstanding bills they may deduct this from your deposit.
  • Redecoration – your letting agent/landlord will know they should allow for wear and tear depending on the age and condition of the property at check in. If they need to redecorate for anything other than fair wear and tear, the cost of this is likely to be claimed from your deposit.
  • Cleaning – this covers carpet stains, dirty ovens and any other cleaning costs. Make sure you give your rented property a full clean before you move out so your letting agent/landlord won’t need to charge you. Taking photographs of the property is a good way to prove the condition you left it in.
  • Gardening – if you have a garden you should make sure it is left in a good condition. The season will be taken into account because if you moved in during the spring and moved out in winter the garden will appear different. Again, photographs are a good way of clearly showing the condition at check in and check out.
  • Damage to property – if your landlord is claiming the full replacement cost for an item which was not new at the start of the tenancy (e.g. a washing machine), then the amount of your deposit they may be awarded will reflect the replacement cost of a second-hand equivalent.
  • 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.