Tenancy deposit protection

The requirement on landlords (and their agents) to protect tenancy deposits is now 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 court and, as a result, the legislation has been amended a number of times. In Northern Ireland, the Department for Social Development is reviewing the operation of the regulations. In Wales, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016  enables the Welsh Government in due course to introduce its own version of tenancy deposit protection.

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