In England and Wales, if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, your landlord must place your deposit in one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes:
- Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection
These government-backed schemes ensure you’ll get your deposit back if you:
- meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- don’t damage the property
- pay your rent and bills
Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of getting it.
At the end of your tenancy
If you and your landlord agree how much deposit you’ll get back, it must be returned to you within 10 days of the tenancy ending.
If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit is protected in the TDP until the issue is sorted.
Your landlord doesn’t have to protect a holding deposit (money you pay to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed). However, once you become a tenant, the holding deposit becomes a deposit, which they must protect.
Deposits made by a third party
Your landlord must use a TDP scheme even if your deposit is paid by someone else, like a rent deposit scheme or your parents.