Tenancy Deposit Protection Documentation

What documents do I need to give to my tenant?

I have protected my tenant's deposit, what documents do I need to give my tenant?

Each deposit scheme requires you to give your tenant and anyone who has contributed to the deposit, the following documents:

  • Copy of the deposit protection certificate/receipt
  • Prescribed Information
  • The deposit protection scheme leaflet for tenants

Always check with your deposit scheme's rules and guidance as they may require you to give your tenant further information to the standard requirements listed above. Click here to check your scheme's requirements.

You must protect your tenant's deposit and serve all of the above documents within 30 days of receiving the deposit.

Deposit Certificate/Receipt

The tenancy deposit scheme with which you have protected your deposit with will provide you with your tenancy deposit certificate/receipt.

Under legal requirements, you must give a copy of the deposit protection certificate to the tenant's and any third parties that have contributed to the deposit, within 30 days. This should be served by hand or by post rather than via electronic communication.

Prescribed Information

The tenancy deposit protection legislation requires the landlord not only to protect the deposit under either the custodial scheme or one of the insurance-backed schemes, but in addition, to provide the prescribed information to the tenant explaining how the deposit has been protected.

The landlord must also give the prescribed information to any third party / interested party (i.e. someone who has paid the deposit on behalf of the tenant whether in whole or part). For example, a parent may pay the deposit on behalf of a student tenant or certain local authorities may pay the deposit on behalf of the tenant under a deposit scheme which they operate.

Even if you have protected the deposit through one of the government approved schemes and you have given your tenant a copy of the deposit protection certificate/receipt, if you FAIL to give the prescribed information to the tenant then the deposit protection is not valid. If you fail to give your tenant the prescribed information you are potentially liable as landlord to a penalty of one to three times the amount of the deposit and in the meantime, the Section 21 notice cannot be served.

Notes on completing the Prescribed Information:

  • In each case you will need to complete the prescribed information fully and correctly. Failing to do so could mean that you are faced with a penalty and/or cannot legally evict the tenant using Section 21 procedure.
  • The prescribed information can be signed by the landlord or the agent.
  • The RLA strongly suggests that all recipients should sign a document to confirm they have received the prescribed information along with the accompanying documents.
  • Joint Tenants: In the case of joint tenants, the landlord need only complete one form but this must be addressed to all of the tenants. You must include details of all the tenants; not just the lead tenant.
  • Third Party: Where a third party pays towards the deposit the Prescribed Information must also be addressed to that third party. This should be sent/given to any third party separately.
  • Please note that the prescribed information requires you to give details of the circumstances in which the deposit can be reclaimed. This has been drawn up on the basis that you use the RLA tenancy agreement. If you do not use the RLA tenancy agreement the wording will need to be changed so as to reflect how the tenancy agreement which you have used is worded

Deposit Protection Scheme Leaflet

Alongside the prescribed information and tenancy deposit certificate/receipt, you must also give the tenant's and any third party/interested party who has paid/contributed towards the deposit, a copy of the relevant scheme leaflet. E.g. If the local council contributed towards your tenant's deposit then you must send a copy to the relevant person at the local council (along with certificate and the Prescribed Information).

Periodic Tenancies

Provided no details have changed when the tenancy becomes periodic, then there should be no need to serve any further prescribed information. If details have changed however, please read our guidance on prescribed information.

Check your scheme to ensure you have the right deposit protection documentation:

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

DepositGuard / The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

With DepositGuard and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) you must give your tenant and any third parties who have contributed towards the deposit:

Click here to get more information and gain access to a list of essential documents and guides for using DepositGuard or click here if you require more information about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

Note: DepositGuard is administered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. DepositGuard is the cheapest insurance deposit scheme on the market for RLA members.

TDS also provides a custodial deposit protection scheme option which pre-populates the prescribed information and sends it to you after registering the Deposit. You will still need a copy of 'What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?' in addition to this.

The Deposit Protection Scheme

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS)

With the Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insurance Scheme) the tenant and landlord will receive a receipt directly from the scheme either by email or post with confirmation that the deposit has been successfully protected.

For the custodial scheme, both the landlord and tenant will receive separate unique repayment ID numbers needed for the repayment process at the end of the tenancy. Click here for more information on submitting a deposit to the DPS custodial scheme.

If you require more information on registering a deposit with the DPS' Insurance scheme, please click here.

However, the DPS still requires you to give your tenant and any third parties who have contributed towards the deposit, the following:

My Deposits

My Deposits (Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited)

With MyDeposits you must give your tenant and any third parties who have contributed towards the deposit:

  • A copy of the deposit protection certificate
  • Completed Prescribed Information - click here to download
  • Attach a copy of the Scheme's Information leaflet for Tenant's to the Prescribed Information - click here to download

Have a question about your tenancy's deposit?

RLA members can access the RLA's Landlord Advice Team who can help you with any tenancy deposit protection queries you may have. Contact them on 03330 142 998 or online via myRLA.

Not a member? Join today and get access to all the RLA's member only benefits.

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