#AskTDS: "I am renting for the first time, why do I have to pay a deposit?"

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This article has been written in response to a tenant's query: “I am renting for the first time, why do I have to pay a deposit?”

A deposit is an amount of money that you pay to your landlord/letting agent as a protection to cover any rental arrears or damage to the property or its content at the end of the tenancy. 

The amount of the tenancy deposit will be agreed and paid before the contract starts and is usually equal to a month/6 weeks rent; however, this amount may differ depending on the tenancy.  For example, an additional deposit may be requested if pets are included in your tenancy to cover any additional damage caused by the pet.  There is no legal restriction to the amount of deposit that landlords can ask for.

Your landlord should confirm what the deposit covers and this is normally set out in your tenancy agreement.  The tenancy agreement should also include a list of your responsibilities as a tenant.  If these responsibilities are not followed, the landlord may be able to keep part of or all of your deposit.



“How do I know that my deposit is safe until my tenancy ends?”


Your landlord will be responsible for protecting your deposit with a government approved deposit protection scheme within 30 days of you paying your deposit.

You will know that your deposit has been protected because you will be issued with prescribed information that outlines the details of where your deposit has been protected.

Please click the link below to read our guide ‘What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’ to get some more information about The Tenancy Deposit Scheme and Deposit Protection:




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.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps.

Posted by Debbie Davies on 29 September 2017

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