All landlords taking deposits from tenants in England and Wales on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement must protect the tenant’s deposit in a government authorised deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it from the tenant.
There are severe penalties to landlords who do not comply with the law:
- You may have to pay the tenant compensation up to three times the amount of the deposit within 14 days of a Court Order.
- You may be unable to regain possession of the property under Section 21 until the deposit is protected.
- You may have to either return the deposit to the tenant or lodge the full amount with the authorised custodial tenancy deposit scheme.
You must also provide the tenant with key information relating to the deposit called the Prescribed Information, this includes details about the scheme you used to protect the deposit, what to do if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy and key contact information. We provide our members with the majority of this information in the Deposit Protection Certificate that’s produced as proof of protection.