The Tenancy Deposit Scheme was introduced on 1st April this year and it calls for all private tenancy deposits to be registered, with an approved scheme.

Here at Property People, we have teamed up with TDS Northern Ireland, in order to make this process as hassle-free as possible for our landlords.

TDS Northern Ireland offer landlords two forms of tenancy deposit scheme:-

Custodial Scheme

This scheme is free to use and requires the deposit taken at the start of the tenancy to be transferred and held by TDS Northern Ireland.  The deposit is then returned at the end of the tenancy when either party, the landlord or tenant, has requested its return.

In cases where a dispute may arise, with regards the return of the deposit and the proportionment of same, TDS Northern Ireland will step in to help resolve the matter and ask for supporting documentation from all involved parties.  They will then draw their conclusion from this evidence and distribute the deposit to all involved parties.

Insurance Scheme

This scheme is subject to eligibility and allows the landlord or agent to retain the deposit for a small fee, throughout the life of the tenancy.  This fee is payable to protect the deposit and this protection will last throughout the life of the tenancy, continuing through periodic, provided that there are no changes to the tenancy.  Any changes to the tenancy require the deposit to be re-protected.

At the end of the tenancy the deposit can then be distributed as agreed with all parties.  If there is a dispute then the parties can refer to TDS Northern Ireland in order to help reach an impartial agreement as quickly as possible.  Again TDS Northern Ireland will request evidence from all involved parties.

How will these regulations affect Landlords?

The landlord is required to:-

  1. Register the deposit with an approved scheme within 14 days of receiving same
  2. Serve prescribed information on the tenant and any other relevant person(s) within 28 days of   receiving the deposit.
  3. The landlord must also ensure that the tenant is provided with prescribed information, detailing the amount of deposit paid and details about the scheme
  4. The landlord must further detail to the tenant when all or part of the deposit may be retained, with reference to the tenancy agreement.

Failure to provide any of the above information can lead to substantial sanctions against the landlord.

Failure to Comply with the Regulations

Failure to protect deposits and provided the necessary information may result in a district council fixed penalty of three times the deposit or a fine of up to £20,000.

For further information on the Tenancy Deposit Scheme contact a member of our staff today.

Further information can also be obtained from the following links:-

www.dsdni.gov.uk