The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Government legislation introduced in April 2007 requires all deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies for residential properties in England and Wales to be protected by an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. The Housing Act 2004 made provision for both the protection of tenancy deposits and the resolution of disputes over their return.

Cumberland Estate Agents are members of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) which is run by The Dispute Service Ltd. It is an insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme authorised by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Failure to protect a security deposit in accordance with the legislation can lead to the landlord having to pay compensation to the tenant, together with a delay in the re-possession of the property.

Cumberland Lettings will handle the administration of the protection of the deposit and provide your tenant with the prescribed information about where their deposit is being protected and how it will be managed as well as a copy of the certificate of protection.

Where there is no dispute at the end of a tenancy Cumberland Lettings will return the deposit to the Tenant(s), less any deductions that the tenant has agreed, without delay.

If there is a dispute about the return of the deposit or about proposed deductions, the parties should try to reach agreement without delay. Most disputes are resolved informally in this way. But if the deposit has not been returned to the tenant within 10 days of the tenant asking for it, any of the parties can ask TDS to resolve the dispute.

Cumberland Lettings will transfer the disputed amount to The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The process involves an evidence based resolution service with the decision being made by impartial and qualified adjudicators. As members of the scheme, Cumberland Lettings will deal with the submission and administration of the dispute on the landlord’s behalf.

The adjudicator’s decision will be based solely on the evidence sent to TDS - there will be no hearing or visit to the property. The importance of a properly completed inventory cannot be underestimated. It must be robust and defensible if it is to be held up as a proper indicator of the facts and therefore viewed as acceptable by an adjudicator or court.

The adjudicator’s decision is final. There is no right of appeal to TDS or to the government department in charge of the tenancy deposit protection schemes. Landlords who opt for the Cumberland Estate Agents lettings service will automatically comply with the legislation as a result of the Cumberland Estate Agents scheme membership. Please note there will be a charge to the Landlord for administering a tenancy deposit into the scheme.

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