Paying deposits and legislation
When renting rooms, the landlord will ask you for a security deposit which is normally the equivalent of one month’s rent or a set rate which will be paid when moving in.
Why do I need to pay a deposit?
Deposits are taken for security for the property in the possibility that the landlord was to suffer financial loss during the tenants stay, meaning that landlords could make reasonable deductions from the deposit for:
- Unpaid rent or bills
- Missing items
- Damage to the property
Normal wear and tear is not considered as financial loss and your landlord should not charge you for this.
If items are damaged beyond repair or are lost, then the landlord should replace these items on a like for like basis i.e. if the item damaged was a 10 year old TV you shouldn’t have the cost of a brand new Widescreen LCD taken from your rent.
You can ask to be shown receipts or estimates for items that have been deducted from your deposit.
Who looks after the deposit?
If your landlord lives in the same property as you the landlord will store the deposit until you leave.
If you don’t have a live in landlord your deposit should be protected by a tenancy deposit scheme please read below.
The below legislation does not affect landlords who let out rooms in their own home where they live.
As part of the Housing Act 2004 the government has introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales only where deposits are taken. All deposits paid under an AST have to be protected within 14 days of receipt by the landlord.
The legislation wants to ensure that tenant’s who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent and are entitled to receive all or part of it back at the end of that tenancy, actually get it and assist in resolving disputes regarding the refund of deposits.
Who is affected?
The legislation covers virtually all new AST contracts through which private landlords let property in England and Wales.
However, the following will not need to be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme:
- Resident landlords (those living in the property).
- Landlords of properties with rent of over £25,000 a year.
- Company lets.
- Student accommodation let directly by universities or colleges.
Who will my deposit be protected with?
Your landlord will advise which one he’ll register you with.