Tenancy deposit protection

The requirement on landlords (and their agents) to protect tenancy deposits is mandatory across the UK, although the detailed provisions vary in the respective countries of the UK. 

This section reviews the legislative requirements in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as there are some significant differences in relation to:

  • when deposits need to be protected;
  • what tenancies are covered by the legislation;
  • what information needs to be provided by landlords;
  • how quickly deposits must be protected;
  • the types of scheme (insurance-backed or custodial) that apply; and
  • the enforcement provisions that are available in the event of non-compliance.

The legislation in this area (in particular in England and Wales) has been subject to a number of challenges in the courts, and as a result the legislation has been amended a number of times. In Northern Ireland, the Department for Communities has reviewed the operation of the regulations but is awaiting the reestablishment of devolved government. In Wales, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 enables the Welsh government to introduce its own version of tenancy deposit protection in due course.

This section is maintained by Steve Harriott, the Group Chief Executive of The Dispute Service Ltd.