Landlords are required to place tenants’ deposits into tenant deposit protection (TDP) schemes. Here’s everything you need to know about them.

What is a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?

UK law now states that landlords who let a property on an assured shorthold tenancy which started on, or after, 6th April, 2007, must put their tenant’s deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

TDP schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back if they:

  • Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
  • Don’t damage the property
  • Pay the rent and bills

They also protect landlords in the event of a deposit dispute due to tenants not meeting the terms of their rental agreement or leaving the property in poor condition.

When are they not applicable?

Deposit protection schemes are not application are not applicable to

  • Deposits paid before the signing of a rental agreement
  • Situations where landlords are living in the same property as the tenant

It is also worth noting that even if the deposit is paid by a third party, for example, the tenant’s parent, the monies will still have to be placed into a scheme.

Types of Deposit Protection Schemes

There are two basic types of TDP scheme; custodial and insurance.

  • Custodial schemes mean the tenant’s deposit is held in a bank account. Neither the tenant or the landlord has access to this account and the money which is only released when the landlord and tenant have come to a mutual agreement on how much of the original deposit should be paid back.
  • Insurance based schemes involve the landlord or their agent holding the deposit but paying a fee to ensure the deposit is insured. If the landlord fails to return the deposit, the insurer will pay the tenant directly and then recoup the money from the landlord.


The responsibility of putting a tenant’s deposit into a protection schemes falls on the landlord or their agent and must be done within 30 days of the final rental agreement being signed.

Landlords are also required to inform tenants of the protection deposit scheme in use whilst also suppling further information that includes the circumstances in which the part or all of the deposit what not be returned.

Lettings Agents

Lettings agents should be aware that they are empowered to act on behalf of landlords, and therefore need to have a comprehensive understanding of TDP schemes.


Tenant Deposit Protection schemes are an effective way to reduce the risk of disputes around deposits, however in the event that a disagreement does arise, it is extremely helpful to have a comprehensive inventory report in place.

A property inventory report is beneficial for all parties involved and provides clear guidelines on how the property should be returned at the end of the tenancy. Not only are tenants more likely to have their deposit reasonably returned, but the risk of disputes decreases at the end of the tenancy too, saving the landlord time and money.

Set the standard to which your property should be maintained and returned at the end of the tenancy with a comprehensive, detailed inventory report from Assist Inventories.

Assist Inventories offer property inventory services for landlords and agents who require the security of a robust property inventory report but lack the time to carry them out themselves.

Talk to us about how we can assist with your inventory reports leaving you free to ensure you are investing wisely and maintaining your portfolio.