Tenancy Deposit Protection
Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property. TDP is designed to encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements and will provide an impartial adjudication process in the event of any dispute.
Landlords must protect their tenants' deposits using a TDP scheme if they have let the property on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).
It is important that landlords give their tenants information on where the tenants' deposits have been protected. Landlords should receive a unique reference number for each deposit and this can be forwarded to their tenants, along with a certificate of protection.
Students who have not received any notification on the whereabouts of their deposit should ask their landlord the simple question:
How is My Deposit Protected?
If the landlord is unable to provide a reference number students can check directly with the scheme to ensure their deposit is protected, however if details of the protection cannot be verified students should seek advice from their Student Union or Unipol. Please use the links below to check your protection status.
There are three schemes that landlords can use:
Insurance based schemes
Tenants can expect a decision as to how much of their deposit is going to be returned to them within ten days from the end of the tenancy. Any part of the deposit kept back at this stage will remain protected in the scheme being used until such time as any dispute is resolved. The exact arrangements depend on the type of scheme used.
Tenancy Deposits, Disputes and Damages
The DPS has produced a leaflet to give guidance to landlords, agents and tenants on how deposit disputes work for all three schemes.
Unipol and the TDS Deposit Protection Scheme
Unipol runs a bespoke student TDP scheme with the Dispute Service, who run the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is one of the insurance based schemes (see above). This scheme is designed especially with the needs of student landlords in mind and is available exclusively to Unipol Code landlords.
The main benefits of using this scheme are:
- no registration fee to use the site
- low cost fees for each tenancy you protect
- keep the deposit for the duration of the tenancy meaning returning the deposit is under your control
- access to a fast disputes panel administered by Unipol
The scheme is administered online using the TDS website, which is accessed through the Owners Administration System. Here you can register details of the property and tenancy agreement as well as your tenants and either make the payment online or arrange to pay in a Unipol office.
In addition, a host of other benefits include:
- Amend details at no extra cost, whether a tenant leaves or another tenant joints a tenancy you can add them to the protection at no extra cost, so long as it is within the protection period of up to 12 months
- Protect the deposit when you receive it so any uncertainty about when it is a deposit is removed - as tenants pay their share, protect it and add to it as money is paid
- Paper free certificates e-mailed straight to you so that you can simply forward to your tenants
- Reminder e-mails that your tenancy is close to ending or if you have forgotten to complete the protection of a tenancy.
For details of the complaints procedure and to make a complaint please click here.