Check if your landlord has to protect your deposit
You'll probably have to pay a 'tenancy deposit' to your landlord or letting agent before you can rent your home.
Your tenancy deposit will usually be the same amount as 4 or 5 weeks' rent. It’s illegal for your landlord to force you to pay a deposit of more than 5 weeks’ rent (or 6 weeks’ rent if your annual rent is more than £50,000).
If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, your deposit must be 'protected' in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) until you move out of the property.
The scheme keeps your money safe and makes sure you get back what you're owed at the end of your tenancy.
Your deposit has to be protected even if someone else paid it for you, for example your parents or a friend.
Your deposit doesn't have to be protected if you're a lodger or a student in halls. It also doesn't have to be protected if you rent privately and have an assured or protected tenancy.
Deadlines for protecting your deposit
Your landlord has to protect your deposit by a certain date, depending on when you paid it. You usually pay your deposit when you start your tenancy.
If you paid your deposit before 6 April 2007
|Your situation||When your deposit needed to be protected by|
|Your first fixed term ended on or after 6 April 2007 and you haven't renewed the tenancy since||23 June 2015|
|You first renewed your tenancy on or after 6 April 2007 and before 6 April 2012||6 May 2012|
|You first renewed your tenancy on or after 6 April 2012||30 days after your tenancy was first renewed|
Your landlord doesn’t need to protect your deposit if your first fixed term ended before 6 April 2007 and you haven't renewed your tenancy since.
To give you a section 21 notice they have to either return your deposit or protect the deposit and give you information before the section 21 notice - details about the deposit, tenancy and property.
If you paid your deposit after 6 April 2007
|When you paid your deposit||When your deposit needed to be protected by|
|Before 6 April 2012||6 May 2012|
|On or after 6 April 2012||30 days after it was paid|
Find out if your deposit is protected
Your deposit should be protected by one of 3 TDP scheme providers:
If your landlord or letting agent hasn't told you if they've protected your deposit, check the scheme providers' websites. You'll need to enter a few details, for example your postcode, surname and the date you started your tenancy. Your tenancy agreement, if you have one, will show this information.
You might need to enter the details of any joint tenants if you can't find the details under your own name. If you've renewed your tenancy it's worth checking the different start dates too.
If you still can't find out whether your deposit has been protected, speak to someone at each TDP scheme provider. You can find their contact numbers on their websites.
If your landlord hasn't protected your deposit
Don't worry if your landlord or letting agent hasn't protected your deposit when they should have - you don't need to do anything.
You'll still be able to claim back the money you're owed and you might be able to get compensation from your landlord.
Find out how to get your deposit back.
If you get a section 21 eviction notice
Your landlord will have to pay your deposit back to you before they can evict you with a section 21 notice if:
- your deposit wasn't protected and it should have been
- your deposit was protected late
Your landlord also has to give you 'prescribed information' - this includes details about the property and your deposit. They can't evict you with a section 21 notice if they haven't given you this information or they didn't sign it to say it was accurate.
If your landlord gives you the prescribed information late or pays your deposit back to you, they will be able to evict you with a section 21 notice.