It is a legal requirement that any money paid to a landlord as a deposit for an assured short hold tenancy, is placed within one of the Government approved schemes.

There are two approved schemes that your landlord can use:

  1. The Insurance Based Scheme
  2. The Custodial Scheme

Landlords are required to protect tenant's deposits and give them legal information about which scheme they have used within 30 days of receiving a deposit.

It is important that tenants ask for a receipt from their landlord when they pay a deposit because this is proof of payment.

Landlords should use an inventory and a schedule of condition; these are records about the property detailing what furniture is included and what the standard of property is.

At the end of the tenancy

If there is a dispute over the return of your deposit the tenant can raise this with the relevant tenancy deposit scheme.

If this doesn't revolve the problem, it will be passed to an Alternative Dispute Resolution service; this is an independent person who will decide if the tenant's money should be returned.


If a landlord does not place their tenant's deposit in an approved scheme or fails to inform them about it, they will be unable to use the two month notice that asks the tenant to leave the property.

The tenant will be able to apply to the County Court to order the landlord to either repay the deposit or order the landlord to pay the deposit in to one of the two schemes.

Further information about the tenancy deposit scheme