WHAT IS A TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME?
Are you a tenant renting a property directly from a landlord or via a lettings agency?
Did you know landlords must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy and if your tenancy started after 6th April 2007?
There are several schemes available and if you are using a letting agent, like Latham Smith, agents would lodge this securely on behalf of your landlord in a recognised scheme. Here, we use the DPS Insured scheme so we are able to hold the money in our secure protected client account for the duration of the tenancy, making the return of your money when you leave, quick and easy.
Your assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST) must reflect where the money is held and there is strict wording (Prescribed information) that must be provided to you, so you know exactly where YOUR money is being held.
If an agent or private landlord does not lodge your deposit in a secure scheme and decides ‘it’s safer in their own bank account’ then they had better beware as penalties are severe!
Did you also know that tenants must agree to any deductions and a landlord or agent can’t just make deductions without consent?
If a tenant does not agree with a proposed charge from the deposit, then a dispute can be raised with the adjudicator, who is non- biased and will decide on the outcome.
At Latham Smith we strongly encourage independent, impartial & professional inventories and check out reports, so there can be no ‘misunderstandings’ by either party at the end of the tenancy.
We also recommend a landlord carries out a professional clean at the start of the tenancy and then a tenant is obliged to carry out the cleaning, to the same standard at the end of the tenancy. With cleaning being the cause of the majority of disputes raised with the DPS and other schemes, by carrying out these simple measures, this will significantly reduce any cleaning related problems and tenants money can be returned quickly.
If you consider yourself a good, responsible tenant and you want to ensure that your money is safe and secure, check that you are using an ARLA regulated agent; check your agent has client money protected certification and check they are members of the property Ombudsman scheme.
Call Latham Smith on 01923 447192 or email email@example.com
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