Tenancy deposit protection
Thanks to laws introduced in April 2007, when you pay a deposit to secure a tenancy, your landlord should place this deposit in a certified deposit protection scheme, for the benefit of both landlord and tenant. There are three government-approved deposit protection schemes in the UK:
Unprotected tenancy deposits
Not all tenancy deposits are required to be put into protection schemes by landlords. 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
At Stephensons we can assist tenants pursue compensation for their landlords failing to protect their deposit. We offer a fixed fee service where we can assess your potential claim for a small fee of £49. If we consider that you have a good claim we can then offer no win no fee to pursue the claim. If you would like to enquire about pursuing a claim against your landlord please contact the housing team on 0203 816 9282.
Returning deposits to tenants
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.