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Private landlords

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

3. Useful documents for landlords

Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Any landlord who wishes to take a monetary deposit must safeguard that deposit with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

The provisions in the Housing Act make it a requirement that any landlord who wishes to take a monetary deposit must safeguard that deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS).

The aim of the provision is to remove the risk of misappropriation of tenants' deposits by landlords and letting agents.

The provisions will apply to all new tenancy deposits taken in connection with assured shorthold tenancies. The vast majority of tenants in the private rented sector are assured shorthold tenants and will therefore be entitled to the protection offered by a TDS.

Arrangements are made with bodies to set up and manage Tenancy Deposit Schemes on the Government's behalf. These are scheme administrators. The intention is to do this through contractual arrangements with private organisations. Both custodial (where the deposit is paid into a scheme) and insurance-based schemes will be chosen as a result of a competitive tendering process where each proposed scheme will be examined against set criteria.

If a landlord does not comply with the terms of the scheme he will be unable to regain possession of the property using the usual 'notice only grounds' for possession.

Tenancy Deposit Protection

The tenancy deposit protection scheme came into force on 6 April 2007.

The government department responsible, Communities and Local Government, has now set up a website specifically for tenancy deposit protection. There are now leaflets for tenants and landlords available for download on the website. These are available in a variety of languages from the link below.

Tenancy Deposit Protection

What are Tenancy Deposit Schemes?

There are two types of tenancy deposit protection scheme available for landlords and letting agents (insurance-based schemes and custodial schemes). All schemes provide a free dispute resolution service.

The schemes will:

  • allow tenants to get all or part of their deposit back when they are entitled to it
  • make any disputes easier to resolve
  • encourage tenants and landlords to make a clear agreement from the start on the condition of the property


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