Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes – 10 Years On


So as we’ve been looking at 10 years of the EPC, we should also turn our attention to the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDP) which is also celebrating its 10-year birthday.

For those that are new to the rental market, deposits must be place into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme. The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect their tenants’ deposits on assured shorthold tenancies, in an approved and protected tenancy deposit scheme (TDP).

There are different schemes available if your property is in England or Wales;

  • Deposit Protection Service
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme
  • The Dispute Service (TDS)

Implemented in 2007, the government-backed schemes were established to give protection to tenants and offer assurance they would have their rental deposits returned if they:

  • Met the terms of their tenancy agreement
  • Did not damage the property
  • Paid the rent and bills

It is the responsibility of the landlord or the letting agent to put the tenants’ deposit in the scheme within 30 days of receipt. At the end of the tenancy, the deposit must be returned to the tenants within 10 days of both landlord and tenant agreeing how much they will receive.

All schemes offer two options:

  • The scheme holds the deposit for free - known as a ‘custodial’ scheme
  • The landlord or the agent holds the deposit and the landlord pays the scheme to insure it - known as an ‘insured’ scheme

If there is a dispute with a tenant, the tenant’s deposit is then protected in the scheme until any issues are resolved. The landlord or agent must give the deposit to the TDP scheme if it is an ‘insured’ scheme. They will hold it until the issue is settled.

Crystal Horwood, Managing Director of Pace explains. ‘With such clear rules on deposit returns, and the effective and thorough procedures and paperwork we provide our clients, we have not had a disagreement reach the dispute service for many years. When they did adjudicate on a client case for us, we found their decision to be fair and reasonable. We have rarely encountered landlords who would not return deposits before the legislation but it does make everything simpler now that people know where their money is. However, it should be remembered that a deposit is only protected once its protected – if your agent hasn’t registered it, and they go out of business, then there will be no deposit to return. This is a gaping hole in the regulations that leaves both landlords and tenants exposed.’

As a client of Pace, you are fully protected by the company’s Client Money Protection and ARLA membership but if you are using other agents, even franchises, you need to ensure you have seen the deposit certificate and it is updated annually. If an agent cancels its subscription, you will no longer be covered and you may not have even noticed.

All the schemes available are to keep money safe and protected and makes sure the tenant gets back what they are owed at the end of the tenancy. This offers tenants protection and assurance and guarantees landlords and lettings agents are compliant with the law – a layer of protection for both parties.

Crystal joined Pace in 2007 and was appointed to her current role of Managing Director in 2010, heading up the company founded by her father in 1994.

She is responsible for the daily operations of the business, whilst also ensuring the company is financially sound, has strategic direction and is planning for future growth.

Crystal takes a thoughtful and considered approach to all that she does, transferring her determination to deliver implicit care, attention and professionalism to every member of her team.

Pace employ 20 full time staff. Meet the key team members here.

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