Student Accommodation: Know your rights - Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

Usually when renting student accommodation you will need to pay a deposit to protect against non-payment or damage to the property.

Since April 2007, when renting in the private sector, your deposit has to be protected under The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

What you need to know

  • A landlord or agent who takes a deposit from a tenant for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must keep it in an approved tenancy deposit scheme and the tenant must be told which one
  • Landlords in breach of this may have to pay the tenant compensation of three times the deposit
  • The landlord or agent must transfer the deposit to the operators of their scheme when requested to do so
  • Each scheme must have measures for resolving disputes without going to court
  • There are time limits for the return of the deposit if there is no dispute

These steps have been put in place to protect you as a tenant and you should always ensure that your landlord or agent is covered within the scheme.

Shared Student Accommodation

In a shared house students should check with the agent or landlord if one deposit is to be paid or if it is one deposit per tenant.

There are some cases of agents who no longer take a deposit and instead charge a "reservation fee" or word it slightly differently. Tenants should always check if this is to replace a standard deposit and if you are still protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

For more information, contact the TDS on 01844 262 891.

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