Tenancy Deposit Schemes: Landlords - are you meeting your legal obligations?
Despite being a legal requirement since 2007, many landlords remain unaware of their need to comply with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Legal requirements for landlords
Under an assured short hold tenancy landlords must – by law – protect a tenant’s deposit using an authorised TDS (one which is operated by an approved administrator). An authorised tenancy deposit scheme:
- Ensures that the tenant’s deposit is protected and retuned at the end of the tenancy
- Avoids going to court to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants (the scheme provides free adjudication in cases of dispute)
Types of Tenancy Deposit Schemes
There are 2 types of TDS:
- A custodial TDS requires the landlord to pay his/her tenant’s deposit to a scheme administrator who will hold the deposit until the tenancy ends
- An insurance TDS whereby the landlord retains possession of the deposit but secures it by paying a fee and premiums to the scheme administrator
Obligations for all landlords
Within 30 days of receiving a deposit, the landlord must:
- Comply with the initial requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme
- Give the tenant (or anyone else who paid the deposit) prescribed information
Should a landlord fail to comply with the TDS:
- The tenant (or other relevant person) can apply to the courts (even if the tenancy has ended). The landlord is then required to pay a penalty to the tenant (of between 1 and 3 times the deposit)
- The landlord will no longer be able to regain possession of the property simply by giving 2 months’ notice – further steps are needed to get the property back.
For advice on all aspects of landlord and tenant work, contact Sue Woolford at our Halifax office on 01422 339614.
Find out more about Wilkinson Woodward's dispute resolution services.