Deposits

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					Student Advice & International Student Support
 Housing Rights

Deposits
Before you move into a property, you may be required by the Landlord and/
or agency to pay various sums of money. It is important to know what these
payments are for; whether they are returnable and if so, how to get them back.
Agency Fees                                                  Most Landlords and letting agents ask tenants for a
                                                             deposit as security against damage or non-payment of
If you find accommodation through an estate agent,           rent and the Student Advice & International Student
it is likely that you will be charged for the service.       Support Service sees many students each year who
You may also have to pay other costs, for example,           have had part, or all, of this money withheld on false
fees to cover the drawing up of a tenancy agreement          grounds. TDP will mean that students who have
or inventory. The important thing to remember is             kept their rented property in good condition can have
that you can only be charged if and when an agent is         greater confidence that Landlords will not act in this
successful in finding you somewhere to live.                 unscrupulous way.
It is a criminal offence for an agent to ask for money
                                                             There are two types of TDP schemes and it is up
simply to register your name and/or requirements. If an
                                                             to your Landlord to choose which one they wish to
agent asks for money prior to finding accommodation,
                                                             join. Scheme 1 is a custodial scheme and the other is
ask further questions!                                       insurance-based. The main difference is that:
Retainers                                                    •   in the custodial scheme, your Landlord pays the
This is a non-returnable payment made to the                     deposit into the scheme and the scheme looks after
Landlord by a prospective tenant who wishes to                   it. The deposit will earn interest which will be paid
move into the accommodation at a later date, and is              back with the deposit when you move out
commonly half-rent (although there are no restrictions       •   in an insurance-based scheme, your Landlord keeps
on the amount that can be asked for). In the period              the deposit but has to pay insurance to the scheme
covered by the retainer leading up to the start of your      When house hunting, always ask the Landlord which
tenancy, the Landlord has complete access to the             tenancy scheme they plan to use to safeguard your
property - including the right to rent it out to others.     deposit and give your deposit money in one of Shelter’s
                                                             red envelopes as a prompt - you can collect these from
Tenancy Deposits/Damage                                      any College Student Advice & International Student
Deposits/Security Deposits                                   Support Office.
This is a sum of money which is required to act as           Within 14 days of you paying a deposit, your Landlord
security in case you damage the Landlord’s property          must give you details of the scheme they are using
or furnishings. It can also be used to cover unpaid bills,   to protect it. The scheme should also write to you to
unpaid rent, cleaning and missing items. Your tenancy        confirm that your deposit is protected. If you are in
agreement should state clearly how much the deposit is       any doubt, you can also contact the schemes directly.
and what it covers. Most deposits will be required by        There is now a greater incentive for tenants and
law to be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Protection          Landlords alike to have in place, from the outset,
Scheme.                                                      a clear agreement on the condition of the property
                                                             through use of inventories and photographs. You
Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme                            should get your deposit back within ten days if you and
Since 6 April 2007, Landlords entering into new              your Landlord are in agreement..
assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and
                                                             If, at the end of the tenancy there is a disagreement,
Wales are required to place any deposit with one of two
                                                             the scheme provides a service known as alternative
Government authorised schemes. This will safeguard
                                                             dispute resolution (ADR) to remedy the problem - thus
the money and offer independent adjudication in the
                                                             avoiding the need to go to court. The disputed part
event of any dispute.
                                                             of the deposit must be paid within 10 days following

 www.kcl.ac.uk/welfare
Student Advice & International Student Support

notification of an ADR/court decision.                         and recover any part that it has to pay from the
If you agree to use the ADR service, you will have to          Landlord. Any interest earned on such disputed
agree with whatever decision is made. You will not             deposits shall be retained by the scheme.
then be able go to court.                                   Example: a tenant pays a deposit of £1000. At the end
If your Landlord does not protect your deposit, or will     of the tenancy, the Landlord says he wishes to keep
not tell you which scheme they are using, you can           £200 to pay for replacing damaged furniture. The
take them to court. The court will either order the         remaining £800 will be returned to the tenant.
Landlord to return the deposit or to pay it into one of     The tenant disagrees, claiming the furniture was
the schemes. It will also order your Landlord to pay        damaged when they moved in. Both agree to go to
you three times the amount of the deposit as a fine.        ADR, so the disputed £200 will be transferred by the
                                                            Landlord to the scheme administrator until the dispute
How do the Schemes Work in Practice?                        is settled.
Custodial scheme:                                           Deposits paid before April 2007
•    The tenant pays the deposit to the Landlord.           If you paid a deposit before April 2007, the only way
•    The Landlord then pays the deposit into the            to get it back if you have a disagreement with your
     scheme.                                                Landlord is via the courts. You are encouraged to seek
•    Within 14 days of receiving a deposit, the Landlord    advice from a Student Adviser should you find yourself
     must give the tenant certain information (which is     in this situation.
     required by statute) about the scheme being used.
                                                            We still encourage students to seek advice even where
•    At the end of the tenancy, if the Landlord and
                                                            there is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme in place so that we
     tenant agree how the deposit should be divided,
                                                            can help you make your case. Remember to always
     the schemes will pay out in accordance with that
                                                            check an inventory on moving in and out and take
     agreement.
                                                            photos (preferably with a date on them).
•    If there is a dispute, the scheme will repay the
     undisputed amount with interest to the person
     entitled to it, and hold the disputed amount until
     the dispute resolution service or courts decide what    Need further advice or information?
     is fair                                                 Student Advice & International Student
•    The interest accrued by deposits in the scheme          Support Casework & Guidance
     will be used to pay for the running of the scheme.      Locations and telephone numbers on website
     A proportion of the interest will be added to the       welfare@kcl.ac.uk
     deposit amount when it is returned to the person        www.kcl.ac.uk/welfare
     entitled to it.
                                                             University of London Housing Services
Insurance-based scheme:                                      University of London Union
•    The tenant pays the deposit to the Landlord.            Malet Street London WC1E 7HY
•    The Landlord retains the deposit but pays a fee to      020 7862 8880
     the scheme and the scheme will insure against the       housing@lon.ac.uk
     Landlord unlawfully retaining the deposit at the        www.housing.london.ac.uk
     end of the tenancy.                                     London Student Housing Guide
•    Within 14 days of receiving a deposit, the Landlord     www.studenthousing.lon.ac.uk
     must give the tenant the information about the
     scheme being used.                                      Shelter
•    At the end of the tenancy, the Landlord pays the        0808 800 4444
     tenant any part of the deposit that is not disputed.    www.shelter.org.uk
•    If there is a dispute over the repayment of any part    Tenancy Deposit Schemes
     of the deposit, the Landlord must hand over the         www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_
     disputed amount to the scheme for safekeeping           066373
     until the dispute is resolved.                          www.depositprotection.com
•    If, for any reason, the Landlord fails to comply,       www.thedisputeservice.co.uk
     the scheme will ensure the return of such part          www.mydeposits.co.uk/
     of the deposit to the tenant as he is entitled to,

    www.kcl.ac.uk/welfare

				
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