The Housing Act 2004 made provision for both the protection of tenancy deposits and a resolution of disputes arising over their return. From 6th April 2007 all deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be held under a scheme authorized by the Government. This applies to new and renewed tenancies commencing after that date. There are three approved schemes available: The Deposit Protection Service, Tenancy Deposit Solutions and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Landlords who do not comply with the legislation cannot regain possession of their property using the usual Section 21 Notice. Furthermore the tenant can apply for a court order requiring the landlord to repay the monies held or safeguard the deposit under the Custodial Scheme. The court will also order the Landlord to pay the tenant a fine of three times the value of the deposit.
Plaza Estates are full members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and offer this service to our clients without extra charge to them (unless there is a dispute when an administration fee is payable). The scheme has exacting requirements of procedures and set clauses in the tenancy agreements but generally works well although it has involved considerable work for us to ensure our Tenancy Agreements comply with the strict requirements stipulated by the Government and to ensure all tenancies are registered and certificates and information leaflets are given to each tenant. Tenancy details are re-registered on renewals and certificates are reissued. The arbitration service will only accept cases where it can be proved that every effort has been made by the parties to resolve the dispute first themselves. TDS website