Landlord & Tenants Deposit Scheme

Landlord & Tenants Deposit Scheme

If your landlord or letting agent have taken money from your deposit and if your deposit has not been protected according to the deposit protection scheme rules, then our expert team at ASL can help you recover your losses.

The government introduced legislation requiring landlords to place deposits in a government-backed deposit guarantee scheme. However, despite this many unscrupulous letting agents and landlords still openly flout rules in order to steal money from your deposit.

Common justification landlords and letting agents use to take money from your deposit include “professional cleaning” or various charges such as “check-out fees” which although not unlawful must follow certain regulatory procedures.

It is standard practice for most landlords to ask for a deposit from their new tenants, in order to secure the tenancy on their property before you move in. Landlords must follow certain procedures when it comes to receiving and returning, a tenant’s deposit.


According to government regulation, your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. For the benefit of both landlord and tenant there are three government-approved deposit protection schemes in the UK, your landlord or letting agent must place this in a scheme within 30 days of getting it.

In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with three different deposit guarantee schemes:

Not all tenancy deposits are required to be put into protection schemes by landlords (unprotected tenancy deposits). However, if the law requires them to protect your tenancy deposit, and they fail to do so, this may have legal implications.

For example, without a protected deposit, a landlord cannot use the standard procedure of serving two months’ notice to evict their tenants, and you may be able to defend possession proceedings against you.

If your landlord has failed to protect your deposit you may be entitled to compensation of up to 3 times the value of your deposit.  Recent research shows that the average deposit in the UK is £800 with much higher deposits being paid on London properties.  It is estimated that around 50% of deposits are not protected correctly by landlords.

As long as you have been paying the rent, and there has been no damage caused to the property by yourself, your landlord should return your deposit, in full, within ten days of the tenancy coming to an end. If they are withholding part of the deposit, they must return the remaining amount.

By law, a landlord can only make reasonable deductions from the deposit if they can successfully show they have suffered a financial loss during the tenancy. This could include rent arrears, damage caused to the property throughout the tenancy, and cleaning costs.

Your landlord cannot make deductions from the tenancy deposit for normal wear and tear, or to cover the costs of re-letting the property.

Landlords can deduct from the deposit for a variety of reasons including;

Landlords cannot however, make deductions for disrepair that was their responsibility. These include;

The structure of the property which includes:

For expert legal advice about pursuing a claim against your landlord matters including Tenancy Deposit Disputes please contact our team on 0333 300 1408.