The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect. This article has been written in response to a tenant’s query: “If I pay my deposit early, when should I receive the prescribed information?”
As many students search for housing in the spring months, with tenancies starting in September, there is an opportunity for confusion. The answer itself is quite clear, the deposit must be protected within 30 days of being received by the landlord or agent (it is different in Scotland, where the relevant date is the start date of the tenancy).
When a deposit is paid on behalf of the tenant, the prescribed information must be sent to these parties as well, as they are known as a ‘relevant person’. For example Tenant A pays for the deposit themselves, but Tenant B has Parent B pay for the deposit. In this case Tenant A, Tenant B and Parent B should all receive the prescribed information within 30 days of the deposit being received.
A holding deposit is not subject to deposit protection; in this case it sounds as though your holding deposit is paid in May, and when you pay your deposit they are allowing you to use your holding deposit as part of the full tenancy deposit. Once the money that was a holding deposit becomes the tenancy deposit it will need to be protected. Therefore, you should receive the prescribed information within 30 days of paying your tenancy deposit (the August payment).
If the money paid in May was not a ‘holding deposit’ but in fact the tenancy deposit paid in instalments, then the prescribed information should be issued within 30 days of each instalment – both in May and in August for this case.
Deposit protection may seem confusing when you start to split up the deposit into instalments, or pay it months in advance – essentially the moment any money is received as a tenancy deposit it must be protected and the prescribed information issued, and the landlord (or agent on the landlord’s behalf) has 30 days to complete both of these tasks.