What you need to know about the tenancy deposit: average amount, how to know if it's protected, how to get it back.A landlord is entitled to request a deposit from his or her tenants. This deposit is designed to help cover any unforeseen costs that may occur. For example, rent arrears, property damage, and more. However, a landlord cannot claim compensation for damages pertaining to wear and tear. A worn carpet is good example.
Actually, putting a tenancy deposit is not a legal requirement. If the landlord requests for a tenancy deposit, he or she is obligated by law to protect the deposit into a tenancy deposit scheme. If you are a tenant and you are informed to put a tenancy deposit, here's what you need to know about it.
The average tenancy deposit amount
The average landlord charges 6 weeks’ rent for a tenancy deposit. This can vary, in particular if you own a pet, in which case the deposit generally amounts to 8 weeks’ rent.
How do you know if your tenancy deposit is protected?
Once you pay the deposit to your letting agent or landlord, they are legally required to place the deposit in an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. The scheme will be valid for the duration of your tenancy. Landlords are required to facilitate this task within 30 days of receiving your deposit.
If you do not receive updates from your landlord, do not hesitate to ask. They should be able to tell you whether your deposit has been protected. If your landlord does not reply on purpose, you can bring the matter up to a County Court. If tenant compensation is justified, you can get back three times the deposit's original value.
What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
Also known as TDP, the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme was formed by the Housing Act 2004. It was designed to raise standards in the private rental sector. The legislation ensures fairness in terms of how the deposits are handled. If a tenant fulfils the basic terms of the tenancy agreement, they are eligible to get back the deposit in full. According to Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, here are other important facts about TDP:
- A landlord has the responsibility of complying with the deposit legislation correctly.
- A landlord will still be a target for late compliance even after securing the deposit after the 30-day window.
- A landlord must serve the Prescribed Information to the tenant after securing the deposit, within 30 days.
- A landlord from Wales or England must adhere to the tenancy deposit legislation if they have taken a deposit from a tenant, which is part of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
For tenants: how to get your tenancy deposit back?
When the tenancy is up, the landlord has 10 days to return your deposit. The sum returned to you will be based on the agreement you have with your landlord. In most cases, you should be able to get all your deposit back if the property remains in the same condition as when you have started occupying it.
It is a sound idea to take photos of the property to prove that it was in a good condition when you left. In addition, you can prepare a check-out inventory and request for your landlord's signature to be on it. Tenants may not get the full amount of their deposit back if they damage the property or have defaulted on their rent payments.
Know your rights!
A landlord shouldn’t take money from their tenant's deposit if one or more of their home's fixtures are subject to natural wear and tear, or to fix any damage that could have been repaired at an earlier time. For example, cracks along walls that worsen over time.
If you are ever in doubt on the tenancy deposit, make sure to consult a specialist. Our professional Sherpas are also well-versed in these matters and can provide pertinent advice. Click below for more information.