Let's talk money. Nearly every contract will require a deposit. In Wales, deposits must be protected within a Deposit Protection Service. At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, pay your deposit to your landlord or agent as usual. Within 14 days, the landlord or agent is then required to give information about how your deposit is protected including:
- Contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme
- Contact details of the landlord or agent
- How to apply for the release of the deposit
- Information explaining the purpose of the deposit
- What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit
If you do not get this information, ask your landlord or agent the simple question; ‘How is my deposit protected?’
The three deposit schemes are:
Make sure you ask your landlord about it!
The government wants to make sure your tenancy deposit is protected so that you get all or part of your deposit back when you are entitled to it and any dispute between you and your landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.
Safeguarding your deposit
You have a responsibility to return the property in the same condition that it was let to you, allowing for wear and tear. So it’s a good idea to make sure that when you sign your agreement you:
- Take pictures of the rooms, any damage, wear & tear before you move in.
- Keep a detailed list of contents (furniture and fittings)
- Check the circumstances in which your landlord or agent could claim on your deposit.
What should you do if your landlord or agent hasn’t protected your deposit?
You can apply to your local county court; the court can then order your landlord or agent to either repay your deposit to you or put it into a protection scheme.
- You should get your deposit back within 10 days after the end of tenancy if you and your landlord agree on how much should be paid back to you.
- The way this works if there is a disagreement depends on the type of scheme your landlord is using (make sure the landlord and the scheme have your correct details such as a forwarding address, email address and telephone number).
- It is reasonable for your landlord to take money off the deposit to cover, for example, damage to the property or furniture, or missing items which were listed in the inventory.
- The landlord should not take money off the deposit to pay for wear and tear (damage that has taken place over time through normal use.)