The Landlord Didn’t Protect the Deposit. What Can I Do?

Your landlord is legally required to protect your deposit in a scheme if you have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). The landlord is obligated to protect your deposit within 30 days and keep it protected until your tenancy ends. The landlord will also give you written information about the scheme.

The 30 days you are run from when you give your landlord or agent your deposit. This might be different to the tenancy start date.

However, you may later discover that the landlord did not protect your deposit at the end of the tenancy. You may not be able to get it back from your landlord or only get some of it back.

If your landlord did not protect your deposit or didn't follow the guidelines when you paid the deposit, you may be eligible for compensation and could back up to 3 times the deposit you paid.

The Landlord’s Responsibility

Your first deposit must be protected within 30 days of your landlord's receipt. As the tenant, the landlord must also provide you with written information about the protection within that 30-day window.

If that window is not met, you can take action against the landlord. However, the landlord cannot evict you from the property if you seek legal action against them.

If the information is provided, keep a written copy if you have any concerns. You will also need to know the contact details of your landlord or the letting agent to contact them if you have any questions or concerns.

The information provided should include the deposit amount for the address you're renting and details about how the deposit will be returned and what deductions can be made.

The information should also highlight a dispute resolution process, which might be useful if you disagree with the landlord about your deposit when it is time to move out.

You should also know how to get your deposit back if you don't hear from your landlord or if they ignore you.

Finally, your landlord or the letting agent should sign the information to confirm that it is accurate.

If the landlord doesn’t follow or ignores the above guidelines, then you may be entitled to compensation.

Should the Landlord Protect Your Deposit If You’re Renewing the Tenancy?

You may agree with the landlord to extend your tenancy for another period after your fixed term. If you agree to this, you must be given the updated information in writing within 30 days of your new deposit being paid.

What To Do If Your Landlord Has Not Protected Your Deposit Within 30 Days?

You may be eligible for a claim and compensation if your landlord doesn't follow the deposit protection guidelines. However, it is advisable to wait until the end of your tenancy agreement before considering any legal action.

If your landlord hasn't protected your deposit correctly or given the prescribed information within the stipulated time, it should be difficult for them to evict you with a section 21 notice.

Here are the steps you should follow if your landlord does not protect your deposit.

Gather evidence

Three deposit schemes in the UK will give you a way to prove that your deposit either wasn't protected as per the law or was not protected within the 30-day guideline. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme, My Deposits and Deposit Protection Services are these deposit schemes.

You can write or email the deposit scheme directly to collect the relevant information. They will be able to confirm the status of your deposit protection and whether all the guidelines were followed. Having this information will make your case run smoother.

Write a letter to your landlord

Your solicitor can write a letter to the landlord warning them about not complying with the tenancy deposit scheme rules. The letter can also include the conditions that have to be met to avoid you taking the landlord to court and indicate how long the landlord has to reply.

Take the landlord to court

If all else fails, you can take your landlord to court. You may be entitled to compensation if it is determined that the landlord did, in fact, break the rules. If your house has mould growing or any other issues, Housing Disrepair Barking can help you claim compensation.

Working with a claim management company can help you exhaust all possible avenues before going to court and getting the compensation you deserve. You will have proper representation all along to safeguard your interests.

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