Tenancy Deposit Scheme

All deposits paid in respect of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must by law be protected with a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt of the money. There are three schemes: The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) My Deposits All three schemes have extensive help on their websites and all provide a telephone helpline. Landlords who fail to comply with the rules are subject to penalties:

  • They will not be able to serve a valid section 21 notice until they have refunded the money, and
  • You can apply to the court for a penalty fine of up to three times the deposit sum.
Note that deposits paid for other occupation types – for example lodgers, do not need to be protected with a scheme.