DEPOSIT PROTECTION SCHEME
A Guide for Landlords from the DPS
How the schemes work – This is a guide for landlords to explain how the deposit protection schemes work. When setting up an Assured Short hold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales, you are required to protect deposits with a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Your letting agency will do this part for you.
Once your agent has registered the deposit, they can:
- View details of all deposits they have protected with us
- Submit deposit payments on line
Once a tenant’s deposit is protected, they can:
- Request repayment when they move out
- Custodial Deposit Protection
- The letting agent and tenant can both request the repayment of a deposit at the end of a tenancy. If one party requests a repayment independently, the other needs to confirm whether they agree with the amount to be repaid. This can be done by accessing the deposit through the letting agent account and submitting your repayment instructions. Once both you/letting agent and the tenant have submitted your repayment instructions, the deposit will be released within two business days. Your letting agent will do all this for you.
- If there is a dispute over the amount of deposit to be returned to the tenant, the tenant needs to notify us. We’ll then contact the letting agent to resolve the dispute. Any monies agreed to be repaid to the tenant must be completed and confirmed by the letting agent. Please visit www.depositprotection.com , Read more about complying with the legislation, learn more how we work and how we handle disputes.
- Our decision is final
- There is no appeal granted
- Betterment in not given at any time
Betterment is when an item is replaced without taking into consideration the age and residual life span. For example, if the bed was not brand new at the start of the tenancy, then you cannot replace this with a brand-new bed at the end of the tenancy – This would be Betterment
Deposit Protection Scheme – Fair Wear & Tear act2017
The House of Lords defined fair wear and tear as “reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces”. The word ‘reasonable’ can be interpreted differently, depending on the type of property and who occupies it. Many landlords believe that the property should be returned to them in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy. Some minor damage should be expected in any normal use of the property,
In addition, it is an established legal principle that a landlord is not entitled to charge his tenants the full cost for having any part of his property, or any fixture or fitting, “…..put back to the condition it was at the start of the tenancy.” Landlords should therefore keep in mind that the tenant’s deposit is not to be used like an insurance policy where you might get “full replacement value” or “new for old”.
- Replacement of a damaged item may be justified where it is either severely and extensively damaged beyond economic repair or, its condition makes it unusable;
- Repair or cleaning is a more likely awarded where replacement cannot be justified;
- In cases where an item has had its value reduced or its lifespan shortened, for example by damage, an award of compensation may be appropriate;
In addition to seeking the most appropriate remedy, the landlord should not end up, either financially or materially, in a better position than he was at start of the tenancy, or than he would have otherwise been at the end of the tenancy after having allowed for fair wear and tear. This is betterment.
The nature of adjudication is that each case is considered on its own merits and no two cases are ever the same. However, adjudicators will consider the following factors when coming to a particular decision:
- Length of tenancy & Number and age of occupiers – the more bedrooms and occupants, the higher the wear and tear that should be expected.
In the rare circumstances where damage (to the worktop/carpet/mattress/item etc) is so extensive or severe as to affect the achievable rent level or market quality of the property, the most appropriate remedy might be replacement and to apportion costs according to the age and useful lifespan of the item.
In considering whether cleaning/repair is necessary versus complete
replacement at the end of the tenancy, an adjudicator will examine the check-
in/ out reports, any statements of condition and any photos/videos in order to
compare the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy. Adjudicators will expect to see receipts or other evidence to confirm an item’s age, or its cost and quality when new.