Deposit Protection Scheme 

The Deposit Protection Scheme or otherwise referred to as the DPS, is a government approved and insured scheme used to safely look after tenants' deposits throughout their tenancy and administer the repayment when they vacate the property. At SJM Properties, the DPS is our chosen scheme but there are other variations that can be used including MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). It is a legal requirement for landlords or letting agents to use one of these schemes and the deposit must be paid across to it within 30 days of its receipt.

The scheme's concept is to ensure tenants are treated fairly at the end of their tenancy and landlords can make fair deductions without fear of later comeback. Tenants should be entitled to their full deposit back if they meet the terms in their tenancy agreement, pay the rent, and return the property in the same condition as when they moved in (with the exception of normal wear and tear).

If your landlord or letting agent wants to retain any of your deposit, they would need to detail how much they propose deducting via the DPS and you would have the opportunity to agree or query the amount and reach a compromise. On rare occasions, if an amicable agreement cannot be made, the deposit will move to a free Dispute Resolution Service whereby both landlord and tenant can submit evidence to justify their claim. This can be in the form of photos from the original inventory and checkout, invoices or quotations for repairs, materials, or cleaning. By law, landlords can only be charged for damages that go beyond wear and tear and tenants are only required to restore the property back to its original condition. Tenants cannot be charged for bettering the property. For example, if a property had worn/damaged carpets on move in that were further damaged by move out, the tenant cannot be charged the full cost of the replacement. On the other hand, if the property had brand new flooring upon move in, which was damaged beyond normal wear and tear, this could be fully chargeable.

Overall, the DPS is an especially useful scheme for both landlords and tenants and when it comes to deposit deductions it is clear an inventory at the beginning of the tenancy can prove invaluable!