Dealing with Deposits
We are landlord and tenant solicitors in Exeter. We advise both landlords and tenants on dealing with deposits, deposit protection schemes and tenancy deposit disputes.
What is a tenancy deposit?
Landlords are entitled to ask their tenants for a deposit before they move into a property. There are restrictions on the amount that can be asked for. If the annual rent is less than £50,000, the landlord cannot ask for more than five weeks’ rent. If the annual rent is £50,000 or more, the deposit can be up to six weeks’ rent.
What is a deposit protection scheme?
All deposits must be held in one of three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes and the tenant must be told in writing which scheme is holding their deposit within 30 days of you receiving it. A failure to deal appropriately with a tenant’s deposit will leave you open to having to pay compensation to your tenant, cause difficulties in securing your tenant’s eviction should this be necessary and potentially lead to you being taken to court and fined.
Landlords are entitled to make deductions from a tenant’s deposit if they have damaged the property, however the landlord must be able to prove the claim and they can’t claim for reasonable wear and tear. Money can also be deducted from the deposit to cover unpaid bills.
Tenancy deposit disputes
In the event of a tenancy deposit dispute, your tenancy deposit scheme will offer a free dispute resolution service. This service is only available if both the landlord and tenant agree to use it. You will both be asked to provide evidence, and the decision made about your deposit will be final.
If you are a tenant and your landlord did not follow the deposit protection rules properly, you may be able to claim compensation.
We’re here to help
Contact us for advice on deposit protection schemes and dealing with tenancy deposit disputes.
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