Deposit Protection was introduced in 2007 when sections 212-215 and Schedule 10 were inserted into the Housing Act 2004. Further provisions were added in 2015. Deposit Protection aims to ensure that Deposits paid by Assured Shorthold Tenants (including students) are kept safe and that Landlords act properly in making deductions from Deposits.
This Guidance on Protecting Student Tenants’ Deposits explains the need for Tenancy Deposits to be protected in one of the official Tenancy Deposit Schemes.
The law relating to tenancy deposits has been further amended by the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (in force on the 01 June 2019), which affects landlords and letting agents in England only. The Tenant Fees Act introduces capped security deposits and holding deposits. It also introduces set timeframes for repayment of the holding deposits. Lettings entered into (new and renewed) will be affected from 01 June 2019.
Security deposits for tenancies in Wales are not currently capped but the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 (due to come in force 01 September 2019) gives the Welsh government the power to introduce caps in the future.
Under the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 holding deposits are to be capped at one weeks’ rent which is the same under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and will also be subject to strict timeframes for repayment of the holding deposits.
The Guidance look at how the Schemes work and what the Landlord and Tenant should do if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy as to the amount of the Deposit to be returned to the Tenant.
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