Tenancy deposits

Tenancy deposits

When you rent from a private landlord you will normally be asked to pay a deposit as security against damage to the property or non-payment of rent.

Most people moving into a rented home will have to pay a deposit before they do so. It is important to know your deposit will be protected during occupation.  A deposit protection scheme is a way of ensuring that money paid by tenants is kept safe.

There are three approved deposit protection schemes operating in England and Wales. They are all free and backed by the Government:

» Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
» MyDeposits
» Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

The schemes aim to help safeguard deposits, provide an even and effective means of resolving disputes and promote greater understanding between landlord and tenant before the start of a tenancy.

In line with legislation introduced in April 2007 all deposits being paid by a tenant for an Assured Short hold Tenancy will be registered with any one of the above recognised deposit protection scheme within 30 days. This provides you with the assurance that at the end of your tenancy your deposit has been kept available and can be returned subject to the result of the inventory check, condition of the property and compliance with the end of tenancy terms.

As a guide please note for a typical flat/ house located in Croydon and surrounding boroughs (excluding Central London) the deposit required at the start of the tenancy:

Property type
Size (No of bedrooms)
Deposit Guide
Studio Flat N/A £ 900- £ 1050
Flat / apartment One 1250- £ 1500
Flat / apartment Two £ 1400- £ 1800
Flat /apartment Three £ 1850 – £2300
House Two £ 1600- £1900
House with Garden Three £ 2000- £ 2400
House with Garden Four £ 2100- £ 2600

Please note you must have your own deposit ready once you are accepted as a tenant by the landlord and in certain cases we will accept a lower deposit – if you are in receipt of housing benefit and can offer a Guarantor.

The guarantor can be any one over the age of 25. The guarantor has to be either in full time employment, retired or a property owner.

*If you intend to make a new housing benefit claim then a higher deposit may be required as well as a guarantor.

Holding Deposit
You might be asked for a holding deposit when you agree to rent a property.
By paying a holding deposit, you commit to taking up the tenancy so that it isn’t let to someone else. The landlord or letting agent holds the property for you until you sign the contract.

Holding deposits do not have to be protected in a government-backed scheme and the holding deposit will be returned to you (less any costs) if you fail to sign the tenancy agreement or if the landlord is unwilling to let the property to you for any reason.

Help with Deposits
If you want to rent privately but you don’t have money for a tenancy deposit, there may be rent deposit schemes, rent guarantee and bond schemes available in your area that can help. Read More

If you don’t have the money for a deposit, contact your local council to find out whether there are rent deposit, bond or rent guarantee schemes in your area that can help you. But bear in mind that not all landlords will accept deposits in this form – Please contact us.

CHECKLIST – Download Useful guide.

This guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.

It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process, including:

what to look out for before renting
living in a rented home
what happens at the end of a tenancy
what to do if things go wrong