Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, knowing about deposit protection law and how it affects you is important. The requirement to protect a tenancy deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales was introduced on 6 April 2007, following its inclusion in the Housing Act 2004.
Initially, deposits needed protecting within 14 calendar days of receipt by the landlord. This was subsequently changed to 30 days on 6 April 2012 as a result of the Localism Bill 2011.
The legislation was introduced because the Government recognised many deposits were being unfairly withheld at the end of a tenancy. Introducing Tenancy Deposit Protection Legislation was identified as a way to raise standards in the lettings industry and ensure tenants are treated fairly at the end of the tenancy.
The legislation also introduced standards for the way deposit disputes are handled. All Tenancy Deposit Protection providers need to offer a free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service for occasions where tenants and landlords can’t agree on how much should be deducted from a deposit.