Custodial scheme - information for tenants

Since 1 April 2013, if you start renting your home and pay your landlord a deposit, they must protect your deposit under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. When your landlord uses a custodial scheme, they give your deposit to the scheme administrator for safe keeping.

When your deposit is protected in a custodial scheme

Your landlord must use an approved scheme to protect your deposit. When your deposit is in a custodial scheme, the scheme protects your deposit during your tenancy.

Benefits of a custodial scheme

A custodial scheme protects a tenant's deposit because:

  • the scheme administrator holds your deposit until it is required to be paid back
  • your deposit is safe if your landlord or their letting agent goes out of business

 Getting your deposit back from a custodial scheme

You or your landlord can ask the scheme to repay the deposit at the end of your tenancy. The scheme allows you or the landlord 30 days to respond and agree or disagree with the amount. 

The scheme only returns the deposit:

  • at the end of your tenancy
  • if your landlord or their letting agent want to move the deposit to another scheme administrator for protection

Agreement about repaying a deposit

If you and your landlord agree the amount of deposit to repay, the scheme administrator must repay you the deposit within five working days of that agreement.

Disagreement about repaying a deposit

If you or your landlord disagree about how much money to repay, the scheme administrator holds the money. They do this until you and the landlord resolve the dispute and agree the amount.

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