Before you rent your home, you must pay a certain amount of deposit money to your landlord.
It is usually 4-5 weeks’ rent beforehand so that even if you can’t pay rent after renting the house, the landlord doesn’t undergo complete loss.
According to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP), your deposit must be protected by your landlord. Your landlord can’t force you to increase the deposit amount to more than a 5 weeks rent because that would be a TDP breach.
Since you are paying so much money in advance, there have to be some guidelines that you can follow or check to judge its credibility. Find out how to check if your deposit is protected in this article.
How To Check If Your Deposit Is Protected?
Your landlord may or may not have told you that your deposit is protected. But, what’s the harm in checking it yourself, right?
There are some ways to do that.
You can contact a reliable deposit service provider such as Deposit Hero or check the TDP scheme and figure out the details yourself.
Just enter your details, such as your name, postal code, the date when you started your tenancy, and so on. Then, when you have the tenancy agreement, these details should be printed there so that you don’t have any confusion again.
Each TDP scheme provider has different persons taking the responsibility. Once you find their contact numbers, give them a call and ask all about your deposit protection mechanism to be absolutely sure that your landlord won’t betray you.
Are There Any Deadlines To Protect The Deposit?
This is not your job. It’s something your landlord has to look after. People usually pay the deposit when they start their tenancy period.
Once you pay your deposit, your landlord should protect it within 30 days.
If he can’t protect the deposit on time, he should return the deposit to the tenant as it will show a sign of goodwill.
Not only you but also if a friend or relative or colleague pays for you, that deposit must be protected. The timeline is the same here: 30 days.
On the other hand, you don’t need to protect your deposit if you’re a student or a temporary lodger. In addition, you may already have a protected tenancy if you rent the apartment privately, and that also gives you an option of not protecting the deposit.
What To Do If Your Landlord Hasn’t Protected Your Deposit?
There’s nothing to worry about if your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit.
You can just sit back and wait to reclaim the money, and you can even get some strategic compensation from your landlord if you want.
Your landlord must give you a section 21 notice before evicting you. However, you don’t have to evict the house right away because your landlord may have to go to court before he can evict you.
However, a section 21 notice is only considered valid if your tenancy deposit wasn’t protected and if it was protected late.
Your landlord must also give you detailed information on your property and your deposit. A section 21 notice won’t be enough to evict a tenant if you don’t have accurate information about your tenancy period and deposit.
However, if the landlord provides you with these accurate details or gives your deposit back, a section 21 notice will be enough to evict you. Although you’ll have some time to look for another shelter, it will be at the landlord’s mercy.
A section 21 notice is usually served when the landlord wants to reclaim his property, and it is the first step towards your eviction. So, if you have got one such notice, you better take it seriously.
Can You Take Your Landlord To Court For Violating The TDP?
If your landlord didn’t protect your deposit, didn’t protect it at the right time, didn’t give you the prescribed information, or didn’t give you the prescribed information on time, you could extract 1-3 times what you paid as the deposit from the landlord.
However, your landlord won’t give you compensation if you ask him.
There’s a court procedure to follow here, and you can’t escape it under any circumstances.
You should wait for your tenancy period to end before taking your landlord to court. If you take them to court within your tenancy duration, the court may order him to take care of your deposit protection right away, and you may not get the compensation.
If your tenancy isn’t over and you still want to drag the landlord to the court, you may have to seek help from the local Citizen Advice center.
How To Take Your Landlord To Court?
You need to collect some evidence to prove your landlord’s crime in not protecting your deposit or protecting it late before taking him to court.
You can get the required evidence from the tenancy deposit schemes and ask them to email you the proof that shows your deposit as unconfirmed.
However, before you take the landlord to court, you should:
- Fill in the court form.
- Pay the court fee and send the form.
- Attend the hearing.
If you win the case and the judge agrees that the landlord has committed a breach, he will have to transfer your deposit to the TDP scheme or you within 2 weeks.
You have better chances of winning this case if your landlord didn’t protect your deposit at the right time.
However, if your landlord doesn’t pay you back even after the court orders him, you can take more disciplinary actions. You can take him to your nearest citizen advice center and act according to their suggestions.
Is That All?
We think that’s about all when it comes to protecting your tenancy deposit and checking it. Once you are sure that the landlord has committed some kind of breach with your money, the ball is in your court.
You can extract 3 times what you paid for, and you don’t even have to evict the property with a section 21 notice. Rather you can take him to court and make him pay for his wrongdoings.
But, before all of these hassles, you must check your deposit’s protection status.
For further queries on this topic, let us know in the comment section below.
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