Ask Tenants blog
If your landlord did not protect your deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme, court can order them to protect and pay you compensation up to 3 times the deposit amount.
Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales your deposit can be registered with:
- Deposit Protection Service
- MyDeposits– including deposits that were held by Capita
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The landlord can deposit money into a custodial scheme, or hold on to your money and pay an insurance scheme to protect it.
If you are suspicious that your landlord did not protect your deposit, this blog can guide you through step by step process from initial research to filing compensation claim in the court.
Step 1: Confirm that your deposit was not protected
If your landlord did not provide any information about which scheme your deposit was protected it is more likely that the deposit was not protected. You can ask your landlord or estate agent to provide the details of the scheme. If they do not provide the details, you can check online tools of three schemes in the overview section to confirm if any of these schemes hold your tenancy deposit. You can also email them and ask them to confirm your deposit isn’t protected.
While there are many online tools to check all three schemes at once it can be a tedious process. Our sponsors Checkmydeposit.co.uk can also check this for you free of cost. They can be reached by calling 0203 887 0409 or emailing email@example.com.
Step 2: Decide if you wish to go to court.
It might be best to wait until the end of your tenancy to take your landlord to court. Your landlord may not be able to evict you using Section 21 if your deposit is not protected. However, if they protect your deposit and provide your prescribed information, they can then serve section 21 notice and evict you. You may still be eligible for compensation, but it may be best to avoid this situation while you are in the property and would not like to be displaced.
Before you go to the court, it may be worth writing to your landlord. Tell them they haven’t complied with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme rules and that you could get 1 to 3 times your deposit in compensation if you go to court. Give them 21 days to respond. If they don’t reply or won’t negotiate with you, you can take them to court to get compensation.
Step 3: Taking your landlord to court
This is a 3 step process:
1. Fill in the claim form.
You’ll need to print and fill in form N208 on GOV.UK to take your landlord to court. Write on your form that you’re making a claim ‘under S213-214 of the Housing Act 2004 (non-compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme)’.
Explain the situation on why you are making the claim. You can write on your form that you will like interest to be added to your claim and include any other cost which will be incurred to get to court like travel and loss of pay.
Along with the form you should also enclose a witness statement. Witness statement should have more details about your situation like:
- Copy of tenancy agreement.
- Receipt of your deposit.
- Any communication with your landlord related to the deposit. Good example will be letter/email you have written to your landlord asking details of which scheme was your deposit protected.Send the form to your county court.
2. Send your form to the local county court
You can find your nearest country court. Pay relevant fees which depends on amount you are claiming which can be up to 3 times the deposit. You will get the fee back if you win your case. The court will then write to you telling you to send any other evidence you have. They’ll tell you when and where you need to send it. The court will also write to your landlord and ask them for their evidence. You’ll get a copy of this before you go to court. You’ll be able to send an updated witness statement to the court if you want to reply to your landlord’s evidence
3. Going to the hearing
The court will write to you and tell you when your hearing will be. You’ll have to go to the hearing. You’ll need to talk about your case and answer questions so it’s a good idea to be prepared.
If court agrees that landlord has not followed the correct rules it will ask landlord to pay you the deposit and compensation between 1 and 3 times of your deposit.
You cannot get legal aid for tenancy deposit compensation claims. However our sponsors Checkmydeposit.co.uk specialise in this area and here to help. You can get free advice from one of their experts by calling 0203 887 0409 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Word from our sponsors:
Hi, I’m Sarah and I work for a company called CheckMyDeposit.co.uk. We’ve partnered with Asktenants.co.uk so that we can let more people know about tenancy deposit claims and improve the renting experience for everyone. We help tenants to claim compensation from landlords who put their rental deposits at risk. A landlord should keep your deposit in one of the three government approved schemes during your tenancy. If they don’t, you could claim up to 3x your deposit in compensation, even if you’ve had your deposit returned. Claims can be made on tenancy agreements dating back up to six years. You can make the application yourself or our legal experts can do this for you. We only ever charge you if your claim is successful, so there’s no financial risk.