Landlord tenancy deposit protection checklist

Checklists

Checklist provided by 

www.tenancydepositscheme.com

 
  Start of the tenancy
  Note: From 1st June 2019, landlords in England are limited to charging tenants the equivalent of 5 weeks' deposit for new and renewed tenancies (or 6 weeks if the annual rent is £50,000 or more).
Register and protect the tenancy deposit within 30 days of receipt with a Government approved tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme.
If you are relying on an agent to do it for you, the same deadline applies and you are liable if they get it wrong; so check that your agent has protected the deposit within the 30 day deadline.
  If the agent collects the deposit and passes it on to you to register it, you must register and protect it within 30 days from when your agent received the deposit - not from when you receive it. 
  Irrespective who is protecting the deposit, the landlord is also responsible for telling the tenant where the deposit is protected. This is in the form of “Prescribed Information” and must be given within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
If you use TDS Insured, you can use TDS's editable template for the Prescribed Information.
If you use TDS Custodial, you'll be able to download the pre-populated Prescribed Information once your deposit registration is complete.
  Prescribed Information also includes a scheme leaflet – such as this one from TDS. 
  Draw up a robust tenancy agreement that details all the things you expect the tenant to do and pay. Make sure any fees are clear and that your agreement specifies what the deposit can be used for.
Conduct a comprehensive inventory and allow the tenants to check and sign the inventory to confirm their agreement. If this can be done independently, even better but either way make sure the condition and cleanliness is both noted.
Keep all your documentation safe. You might need it later!
  During the tenancy
Keep a written record of any communications you have with your tenant.
If you give permission for something to be changed, such as decorating a wall, make sure you specify how you expect it returned. Don’t assume it will be repainted magnolia if you haven’t agreed in writing it will be!
Try and do a pre check-out before the tenancy ends, to give the tenant some pointers on things you expect to be sorted before they move out. 
Confirm in writing the check-out arrangements and remind the tenant of any special conditions they might have overlooked.
End of the tenancy
Arrange a check-out inventory on the last day of the tenancy or as soon as possible after. Ideally, the tenant should be present during the check-out inspection; if this is not possible, ensure the tenant checks and signs the check-out in agreement.
Quantify any claim you seek to make from the deposit and convey this to the tenant as soon as you can once the tenancy has ended.
Make sure you only make charges permitted by your tenancy agreement.
Justify your charges to the tenant if necessary. It is not unreasonable to be asked for evidence of the cost. TDS has created a Deductions Template to help landlords clearly set out proposed deductions you wish to make from the tenancy deposit. This is exclusively available to TDS customers, but you can view TDS's guide to the Deductions Template.
If the tenant disagrees with your proposals, do negotiate. 99% of tenancies are resolved by agreement.
Make sure you factor in fair wear and tear and betterment. You cannot expect the tenant to reinstate any damage to a better standard that it was at the start of the tenancy. TDS produce some helpful case studies that are worth checking out.
  Disputes
If there is a dispute, ensure you return the undisputed sum to the tenant within 10 working days.
Ensure any dispute is logged with your TDP scheme as soon as possible, and for insured schemes, no later than three months after the end of the tenancy.

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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