Tenancy Deposit Scheme

As part of the Housing Act 2004, the Government has made provisions for the protection and return of all deposits, paid under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), and the resolution of any disputes over their return.

These provisions state that all AST deposits taken by a landlord or letting agent must be protected in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme; of which there are three.

We are members of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) operated by The Dispute Service. They offer an insurance based scheme, allowing us to hold on to any deposit paid and will provide an independent and impartial method of resolving any differences between landlords and tenants at the end of a tenancy.

How the Tenancy Deposit Scheme works

Within 14 days of receiving a deposit, it must be registered with TDS and the tenant supplied with the following information:

  • the contact details of The Dispute Service
  • the landlord or agent’s contact details
  • how to apply for the release of the deposit
  • information explaining the purpose of the deposit
  • what to do if there is a dispute about the deposit

We will supply all of this information to the tenant as soon as the deposit has been registered. Normally, it is possible to do this on the day the tenancy commences.

At the end of a tenancy we will inspect the property, referring to the independent inventory, and attempt to agree the basis for repayment of the deposit. If there is a dispute that cannot be resolved, either party can instigate The Dispute Service to provide for the case to be dealt with by an Independent Case Examiner (ICE) who is a qualified, impartial expert and who aims to resolve disputes quickly and fairly without the need for court action. This must be done within 28 working days of the tenancy ending and the ICE must be sent the following:

  • The signed tenancy agreement
  • Inventory and schedule of condition for both check in and check out procedures
  • Evidence that the claimant has tried to negotiate a settlement
  • Tenancy registration number and details

Within 10 working days, the deposit (less any amount agreed by the parties and already paid over to the tenant) must be handed over to TDS for safe keeping until the dispute is resolved. If for any reason, the landlord fails to comply, the insurance arrangements will ensure the return of the deposit to the tenant if they are entitled to it.

What the tenancy deposit scheme costs

Where Quealy & Co manage the property, there is no cost to the tenant or landlord.


  • The deposit is fully protected and insured
  • The deposit is returned promptly if there is no dispute
  • In the event of a dispute it is quicker and less stressful than going to court
  • The property can be re let whilst adjudication is taking place
  • There is a guaranteed reimbursement of loss if the dispute is found in the landlord’s favour
  • There is a guaranteed reimbursement of loss if the dispute is found in the tenant’s favour


More Information

Should you wish to find out more about The Dispute Service, please visit www.thedisputeservice.co.uk or call 0845 226 7837.