If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy your landlord must place your deposit within one of three government approved protection schemes within 30 days of receiving it. They must tell you which scheme your money is protected with and give you certain prescribed information within this 30 day period. If they do not do this, you can take your landlord to court and may receive compensation of up to 3 times the amount of your deposit.
Government approved deposit protection schemes
Raising a dispute
If, at the end of your tenancy, the landlord decides to withhold a portion of your deposit, you can raise a dispute through your tenancy deposit scheme. All three schemes offer a free adjudication service as an alternative to going to court. The adjudication is based solely on the evidence provided, which includes your inventory, schedule of condition and any photos taken at the start and end of your tenancy. This is why is important to ensure that these are accurate and detailed at the start of your tenancy, to ensure that you cannot be blamed for damage that you didn’t cause.
If your landlord has not provided information about where your deposit is protected within the first 30 days of receiving it, seek advice from the SOAS Housing Adviser.