When you and a landlord enter a traditional security deposit scheme, the landlord is legally required to place the deposit in a government-backed deposit protection scheme (DPS) to ensure your money is protected and returned after the end of the tenancy.
Once you become a tenant, the money is transferred into a DPS within 30 days of the start of your tenancy. The DPS will contain and provide the following information:
- Landlord's name and contact details
- Address of the rental property
- Deposit amount
- If the payer of the deposit is a third-party (e.g., a parent), their name and contact details
- The DPS's name, contact details, and dispute resolution service
- Information on how the DPS protects the deposit
- Information on how tenants can get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy
- Possible reasons the landlord may deduct money from your security deposit
- What to do if you are unable to reach the landlord to get your deposit back when the tenancy ends
- What to do if you and the landlord have a conflict regarding the deposit
- If you’re not sure your money is protected, contact the DPS to verify.
At the end of the tenancy, you and your landlord must meet and come to an agreement on how much of the deposit should be deducted and how much should be returned to you. Once an agreement is reached, your deposit will be released from the DPS and returned to you. The DPS also protects you in circumstances where you are unable to reach the landlord after the end of the tenancy or are unable to come to an agreement with the landlord on how much should be returned to you.