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Things to consider when renting

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9. Deposits

A deposit is usually taken to secure a property. This is returned to you at the end of the tenancy providing you have not caused any damage to the property and your rent account is up to date. The deposit is normally the equivalent of a month's rent but can sometimes be higher. The amount is decided by the landlord.

Any tenancy starting after the 6th April 2007 where you have paid a deposit must have the deposit money registered with a Government backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. Once your deposit it protected by any one of the three schemes, you will receive a letter confirming this. Rent in advance is different to a deposit and does not need to be registered with a scheme.

If you do not receive a letter confirming your deposit has been protected, you can check online with each service to see if your deposit has been protected. If you think you deposit has not been protected, please contact your local Housing Options Team for further advice.

There are three tenancy deposit schemes:

The deposit schemes hold onto your deposit until the tenancy has ended. They make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you:

  • meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
  • don't damage the property
  • pay your rent and bills

Your landlord or letting agent must put your deposit in the scheme within 30 days of receiving it. At the end of your tenancy, your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the tenancy deposit protection scheme until the issue is resolved.