What’s all this I hear about a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?
So it’s time to move out and, in the midst of all the boxes and stress and strain of moving again, there’s one silver lining: you’ll be getting your deposit back! It’s like finding five quid in your pocket you didn’t know you had, except it’s at least a couple thousand!!
But then your landlord points out that the carpet is looking dirtier than when you moved in; he also says there are marks on the walls and he’s asking you to cough-up money to repaint and re-carpet the entire place in readiness for the next tenant!
You think, come on now! I’ve been paying top whack for this place and the carpet and decorations were far from new in the first place. These are just ordinary upkeep costs that any landlord should be prepared to pay as part of operating his business of letting properties at max market rents!
When you’re moving out you don’t want to worry about arguing whether the deposit belongs to you or your landlord now. In the olden days, landlords could hold onto tenants’ deposits with impunity! The only remedy was to take the landlord to court which takes ages and costs too much.
But now there’s the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), a government-backed programme meant to help protect tenants’ deposits and resolve disputes over them.
How is it supposed to work? Well, it depends on your situation. Basically if you’re in a tenancy which started after April 6, 2007 and you qualify then you should automatically be protected under TDS when your landlord registers your deposit (which he is supposed to do by law). There are exceptions to this, such as if your rent is over £100,000 annually, or if the tenant is a company and not an individual. You can find out if you’re protected at www.tds.gb.com or ask one of Saunders 1865’s relocation experts.
TDS makes it your landlord’s responsibility to protect your deposit. You’ll still have to pay for any reasonable claims, but TDS gives tenants some measure of protection against your landlord trying to keep your deposit unreasonably. All the TDS really does is ring-fence the tenant’s deposit until any dispute is resolved, either by negotiation or via an adjudication made by a TDS appointed, independent assessor.
The tenant will still need to present a robust case backed by documentary and photographic evidence in order to achieve the best outcome in this process. Saunders 1865 represents tenants exclusively in this process. We help tenants put forward the best possible case and we do everything possible to prevent our clients from being ripped-off by the those landlords who treat the deposit as another profit centre!
Talk to us about your situation as early as possible in the process. Call +44 20 7590 2700 or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.