We have had some calls from worried letting agents following an article in the Evening Standard on 15th January.
The article ‘Register tenants’ deposits or pay them a shedload of compensation’ contained the following advice;
“…you must send your tenant a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate — which must be signed by you — together with a leaflet providing details of the deposit protection scheme and how they should go about getting their deposit returned at the end of the tenancy.”
When protecting a tenancy deposit with TDS you do not have to sign the deposit protection certificate.
The article was referring to documents provided by a different tenancy deposit protection scheme as part of their prescribed information template.
The journalist has kindly updated the online version of the article, but to clarify for TDS members the deposit protection certificate is a simple confirmation that the deposit has been registered with the scheme, downloadable at any time from the TDS website. In essence it is a receipt and does not need to be signed, and is not required by law.
What you do need to sign however, is the prescribed information. It is a specific list of information which the law requires you to give the tenant including contact details of both parties, the property address, and the deposit amount. This document must be signed by you and you must give the tenant the opportunity to sign it. TDS provides a template for prescribed information to help you provide the correct details
Prescribed information also incorporates the official scheme leaflet containing details of the law and how the scheme works
So don’t always believe what you read; well meaning advice can be unintentionally misleading as the finer details can have important consequences. If you need guidance on what the legal requirements of deposit protection are please contact the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.