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DPS Deposit Protection Scheme

Information for Tenants Overview of Tenancy Deposit Protection


What should you know about Tenancy Deposit Protection

Tenancy Deposit Protection was introduced in April 2007 as part of the Housing Act 2004 for all assured shorthold tenancies in England and Wales where a deposit was taken, as a way to raise standards in the lettings industry and ensure you are treated fairly at the end of the tenancy.

What are your landlord's legal obligations around Tenancy Deposit Protection?

Your landlord is required to protect your deposit within 30 days of receiving it. Your deposit is considered received from the moment they have the money (whether it’s a cheque, a bank transfer or cash), and not when the funds have cleared.

If we or your landlord fail to comply with their legal obligations, there are two possible

1. They cannot end the tenancy or regain possession of your property under section 21 of the Housing Act 1998 until the deposit has been repaid or a court case has ended.
2. You can apply to a County Court to receive compensation between once and three times your deposit’s value if:

  • you think your deposit is not protected
  • you’ve not received information about the scheme your landlord has protected your deposit with.

 What are the different types of scheme?

Your landlord has a choice of two Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes. We use the Custodial Scheme.


  • “We as your letting agent” will give “the DPS” the deposit to look after for the duration of your tenancy.
  • at the end of your tenancy, the deposit is released by us once both parties have agreed on its distribution.

For more information about our Custodial scheme download “the” tenant’s guide here

At the end of your tenancy, you and your landlord need to agree how your deposit will be repaid. It’s important we hear from you both. In the event you’re unable to agree on how your deposit should be repaid, our free independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service can be used to resolve your dispute. Find out more below.

Deposit Disputes

What are they?

A deposit dispute occurs when you and your landlord disagree with the amount of money they wish to deduct from your deposit. As a result you and your landlord are entitled to raise a dispute with our adjudication team; starting the Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

How does it work?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a way of resolving deposit disputes at the end of a tenancy, rather than using the traditional route of the Courts. In the event of a dispute arising, the decision about who should receive the deposit is made by an impartial qualified adjudicator. The adjudicator will make their decision in an unbiased way, based on the evidence each party provides.

If you’re involved in a dispute with your landlord you’ll be required to submit evidence, which can include; photographs, inventories, invoices and/or other relevant information. You’ll need to supply this within a specified timescale. Our adjudicator will consider all of the evidence submitted and decide how the deposit should be distributed. The more evidence you can collect the stronger your case will be.

The deposit remains as your property until your landlord has successfully claimed all or part of it. You and your landlord must consent to using our Alternative Dispute Resolution service before we can review the case.

How much does it cost?

Our Alternative Dispute Resolution service is free.

What are the submission deadlines?

If you or your landlord decides to claim all or part of the deposit, you must provide to the DPS with either a Joint Deposit Repayment Form, if it’s a Joint Repayment, or a Statutory Declaration if it’s a Single Claim. Both types of claim must be received by the DPS as soon as possible after the tenancy has finished. Your evidence must have been received by the DPS within 14 days of our request for evidence. It will then be passed to one of the DPS adjudicators who’ll then have 28 days from the date of receiving the case file to make a decision.

For more information about deposit disputes 

Return of your deposit

What might affect the return of your deposit?

We want you to be confident you’ll receive your whole deposit back when your tenancy ends so we’ve created a common list of reasons why your letting agent/landlord may claim all or part of your deposit:

Rent arrears – if you either miss a payment or you leave the property without paying the last month.

Outstanding utilities and bills – if your landlord is required to pay outstanding bills they may deduct this from your deposit.

Redecoration – your letting agent/landlord will know they should allow for wear and tear depending on the age and condition of the property at check in. If they need to redecorate for anything other than fair wear and tear, the cost of this is likely to be claimed from your deposit.

Cleaning – this covers carpet stains, dirty ovens and any other cleaning costs. Make sure you give your rented property a full clean before you move out so your letting agent/landlord won’t need to charge you. Taking photographs of the property is a good way to prove the condition you left it in.

Gardening – if you have a garden you should make sure it is left in a good condition. The season will be taken into account because if you moved in during the spring and moved out in winter the garden will appear different. Again, photographs are a good way of clearly showing the condition at check in and check out.

Damage to property – if your landlord is claiming the full replacement cost for an item which was not new at the start of the tenancy (e.g. a washing machine), then the amount of your deposit they may be awarded will reflect the replacement cost of a second-hand equivalent.