My girlfriend and I have found a two bedroom apartment to rent, but we have been asked to provide a deposit of £800. How do I protect the money and ensure I get it returned when we eventually move out?
The payment of deposits and their ultimate repayment to the tenant has for many years been a source of difficulties for both landlords and tenants. The deposit is, of course, intended to cover any arrears, or damages caused to the property which the landlord is entitled to retain on termination of the tenancy.
There is also a need to secure this deposit on the part of tenants who previously paid the money to the landlords’ letting agent, who could subsequently go out of business in the absence of any strict rules regulating the holding of monies on the part of a third party tenant.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced Tenancy Deposit Protection for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) where a deposit is taken. This means letting agents/landlords have to lodge deposit monies with The Deposit Protection Service – ensuring the money is retained securely by an independent third party.
From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have had be protected in this way within 14 calendar days of receipt by landlord. All deposits taken by the Landlord/Letting Agent before 6th April 2007 are not subject to the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.