Deposit Protection on The One Show
If you watched BBC1’s The One Show last Thursday, you would have seen, in addition to Jackie Collins, a feature about an awareness campaign for tenancy deposit protection. Not quite as glamorous but much more important!
(Take a look onBBC iPlayer to watch the feature which is on shortly before the end of the show )
Shelter are running the campaign because too few tenants are aware that their landlord or agent must protect their deposit with a government approved scheme within 30 days of receiving it. The tenants must be told which scheme is protecting it by being given a Tenancy Deposit Protection Certificate and a set of documents known as ‘Prescribed Information’.
Shelter have useful links on their website to all deposit protection schemes where tenants can find out if and where their deposit is protected, and what to do if it is not.
Only deposits on assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) need to be protected. This is the most common type of agreement but if you aren’t sure what applies to you, direct.gov has useful information on the different kinds of tenancy agreements.
If you are a tenant, worried that your deposit has not been protected, there are a few places to check to help you find out:
1 – Check your tenancy agreement: This will normally set out how much your deposit is and who it is being held by. Remember though, there are two types of scheme:
• an insurance based scheme (like TDS, where your landlord or agent keeps hold of the deposit and is protected by insurance)
• a custodial scheme (where your landlord or agent sends your money to the scheme)
2 - If your tenancy agreement does not explain which scheme is protecting your deposit, then ask the deposit holder or your landlord which scheme is protecting your deposit. If you found a property via a letting agent, ask them too.
3 – If this proves inconclusive, check with the three schemes directly. You can do this using Shelter’s deposit tracker: http://bit.ly/MeEwqn
4 – The Shelter site also offers fantastic advice on what you can do if your deposit isn’t protected - but we’d recommend that you speak to your landlord in the first instance in case there has been a genuine misunderstanding.
5 - Remember, TDS can only help you if your deposit is registered with our Scheme. If it isn’t, you should take some legal advice on the options open to you. A Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to assist you - http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
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