Half Of Student Tenants Don’t Know Whether Their Tenancy Deposit Was Legally Protected . . . Do You?
It’s an exciting time and something of a milestone: making the transition from student halls, or living with family, to moving into your first rented property – alone or with student friends. But with this new-found ‘freedom’ comes responsibility – and sometimes – headaches! There are many legal and accountability issues to consider when renting a property from a private landlord, particularly for those living away from home for the first time, that it’s all too easy to get carried away and overlook the important stuff. Earlier in 2014, the National Union of Students, (NUS), published research which found that almost half of student tenants didn’t know whether their tenancy deposit had been protected or not. And one fifth of respondents surveyed had not received the paperwork from their landlord which is legally required to confirm protection.
A sobering thought indeed, particularly when you consider that over half a million students (503,675) were living in private rented accommodation during 2012/13* Basically, landlords are legally required to do two things with your tenancy deposit:
1) They must register your deposit within a designated deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it.
2) They must inform you – the tenant – as to which scheme the deposit has been lodged with and they must do this in writing.
By the way, your landlord must still use a TDP scheme, even if someone else pays your deposit, for example a parent or friend. This is what the GOV.UK website says about the “Information landlords must give tenants”: Once your landlord has received your deposit, they have 30 days to tell you:
- the address of the rented property
- how much deposit you’ve paid
- how the deposit is protected
- the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and its dispute resolution service
- their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details
- the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit
- why they would keep some or all of the deposit
- how to apply to get the deposit back
- what to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy
- what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit
Ben Beadle, director of customer relations at the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, says: “It’s clear that a distinct lack of knowledge exists. We’ve seen a sharp rise in queries from students over the summer having issues reclaiming their deposits. Many don’t know if their deposit is protected or what the money can be used for – both are questions they need to ask at the start of the tenancy.
“When renting, getting your deposit back hangs on the action you take from the day you move in, not just when you move out. Most importantly tenants must check that the deposit is protected in a government-approved scheme.”
If you don’t know whether your tenancy deposit was legally protected or not, then the chances are, it wasn’t. In which case, the experts at Tenant Deposit Advice are ready to step in and take action on your behalf. Our experts work on a “No Win, No Fee” basis, so contact us today on 020 7096 1710 for your no-obligation consultation.
Don’t wait until it’s time to move on and you find that your deposit has disappeared along with your landlord! And something else that might interest you: If your landlord did not comply with the Tenancy Deposit regulations, then not only are we able to make a claim for the full amount of your deposit, but you will also be entitled to claim an additional discretionary award made by the court, of between 1-3 times your deposit amount.
So don’t delay . . . Call the dedicated Tenant Deposit Advice claims line now on 020 7096 1710 and claim back what is legally yours.
*Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)