Tenancy deposit scheme checklist

publication date: Apr 19, 2013

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Start of the tenancy

Check - is your tenancy a ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’? If so, your deposit must be protected in a government approved scheme.  
Check the deposit has been protected by the landlord or agent within 30 days with one of the government approved schemes;
  Has your landlord or agent given you prescribed information about deposit protection within 30 days?
  Does the prescribed information include an official leaflet from the Scheme administrator– such as this one from TDS
  Does your tenancy agreement state where your deposit is protected?
  Does your tenancy agreement state what your deposit can be used for?
Has your landlord or letting agent given you an inventory or check in report, confirming the condition of the property when you move in?
Have you checked that the inventory/check in report is correct, and told them of changes as soon as possible? 
Have you signed and dated your inventory/check in report, and put it in a safe place?
Create a folder to keep all tenancy paperwork in one safe place, and an email folder for all online communications.

During the tenancy

Keep a written record of all communications with the landlord during the tenancy.
Obtain and keep written permission from the landlord to make any changes to the property.
Obtain and keep written permission if having a pet. If you pay a separate pet deposit make sure it is also protected.

End of the tenancy

After you give notice to leave the property, ask the landlord or agent to inspect for potential deductions from the deposit which you could resolve before leaving.
Check your tenancy agreement to find out what responsibilities you have for leaving the property.
Check the condition of the property against the inventory before you leave.
Are you expected to have the property professionally cleaned when you leave?
Has your landlord notified you promptly if they intend to make deductions from the deposit? 

Deductions from the deposit

Are the deductions from the deposit allowed by the tenancy agreement?
Are you only being charged to return the property to the state it should have been in when you left, and not paying for improvements?
You should not be charged the full cost of brand new items or for full redecoration. Has the landlord incorporated the value of ‘fair wear and tear’ into damage or redecoration costs?
Has the landlord justified the costs of deductions with receipts, quotes, or invoices?


If you disagree with deductions, have you negotiated with the landlord to try and reach agreement?
If there is no other way to reach agreement, consider raising a tenancy deposit dispute. An impartial adjudicator from the Scheme which protects your deposit will decide how much is deducted.
Raise the dispute within three months of the end of the tenancy. Send documents relevant to support your case such as inventories, photos and communications with the landlord.


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