The Tenancy Deposit Scheme Guide
Since 6th April 2007 all deposits taken by landlords must be protected by one of three government-approved schemes. Landlords can choose which scheme they wish to use and must safeguard each deposit and inform the tenant which scheme has been used within 30 days of receiving the deposit. The Government has awarded contracts to three companies to run its tenancy deposit schemes.
To see the full changes click here.
RLA advice in a nutshell
- Make sure your inventory is accurate and signed by yourself and the tenant. (For more information and advice on inventories, click here)
- Use the correct AST agreement - RLA has two versions.
- Read our Tenancy Deposit Scheme: Information for Landlords
- If you take a deposit you must issue Prescribed Information to the tenant together with a copy of the Scheme leaflet for tenants.
Insurance vs. Custodial
The tenant will pay the deposit to the landlord. The landlord will retain the deposit and pay a fee to the scheme. This is the difference from the custodial scheme as, under the custodial scheme, the deposit has to be paid over to the scheme administrator. Under the insurance scheme the landlord will be able to keep the deposit himself. At the end of the tenancy, if the landlord and tenant agree how the deposit should be divided, the landlord returns all or some of the deposit.
Tenancy Deposits: the options available
A comparison of the insurance based tenancy deposit schemes:
DepositGuard Insured is an exclusive service, only available to members of the Residential Landlords Association, providing unbeatable rates on deposit protection and allowing the landlord to hold onto the deposit. The scheme is administered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) - the longest standing, government-approved tenancy deposit scheme.
Members can protect deposits up to £500 for just £13.20 and over £500 for £17.95 - making it the cheapest insurance based scheme in the market.
Exclusively available to RLA members, DepositGuard Custodial offers a free tenancy deposit protection option.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
Tenancy Deposit Scheme offers insurance backed and custodial tenancy deposit protection schemes and a dispute resolution service, operated by The Dispute Service organisation that has been running since 2003. The insured scheme allows landlords and agents to hold onto deposits. There is an annual fee per property for landlords and a one off annual fee for letting agents. Alternatively, landlords and letting agents can use the completely free custodial option, but they must transfer the deposit to TDS.
For further information on the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or to register/submit a deposit, click here.
Deposit Protection Service
The Deposit Protection Scheme is managed by Computershare. This is a Custodial Scheme in which you hand your entire deposit over, there is no charge to landlords as the scheme is funded by the interest earned from the deposits held in the scheme. DPS, since April 2013, now offer an insurance backed deposit protection service.
For further information on the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) or to register/submit a deposit click here.
My Deposits (formerly Tenancy Deposits Solutions) operates an insurance backed deposit protection service. It also deals with any disputes which arise. This scheme allows landlords and agents to hold on to their deposits. There is a membership fee and a fee payable for registering each deposit.
For further information on mydeposits.co.uk or to register/submit a deposit, click here.
The majority of landlords in the UK rarely encounter the need to hold onto some or all of the deposit, which poses the question "do you really need to take deposits?"
If you wish to avoid the cost and paperwork of entering any of the schemes, there are some suggestions on what can be done. To see these suggestions, click here.
Join the RLA today
DepositGuard is an exclusive product for RLA members which allows you to protect your deposit and keep hold of it yourself and at a lower cost than the MyDeposits scheme. If you are not an RLA member, why not join today and take advantage of DepositGuard and a host of other benefits designed especially for landlords like you.
Other benefits include:-
- Round the clock support from the RLA Landlord Advice Team
- An extensive landlord library complete with documents and guides for each stage throughout the tenancy lifecycle
- RLA forums giving you the opportunity to network with the Landlord Advice Team team and over 10,000 members
- Discounts on a variety of services (including tenant credit reports)
- and much more...
For details of membership options and cost of membershipJoin Today from £79.95.