A landlords guide to tenancy deposits
Here we explore some of the frequently asked questions with regards to tenancy deposits.
Where is a tenancy deposit held?
Legally all tenancy deposits must be held in a government approved deposit scheme such as The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). This is to ensure the funds are held by an unbiased third party and to try and limit disputes. There are two ways that this can be done, either via an insured scheme – where you pay an insurance premium to the TDS but you keep hold of the funds. Alternatively you can choose a custodial scheme whereby no fee is payable but the funds are sent directly to the TDS to keep hold of.
How quickly does a tenants deposit need to be released?
Any funds that are undisputed need to be released to the tenant within 10 working days of the check out. If you wish to make a claim for a deduction from the deposit you will need to put this in writing to the tenant outlining what you are deducting and why.
What reasons may a landlord deduct money from a deposit?
Common reasons for a deposit dispute include cleaning and repair costs. A landlord cannot charge for general wear and tear or redecoration costs unless damage or poor cleaning has occurred. Other common reasons for a deposit to be held onto include damage or smells from pets or to recover unpaid rent.
Evidence required for a deposit deduction claim
The most important thing you can do to protect your property is to conduct an inventory at the start and end of a tenancy. When conducted property, this will have detailed description of all contents as well as supporting photographs. If the evidence shows damage, lost items or a lack of cleaning then this can be submitted to file for the deposit deduction.