How does the deposit work?
A deposit is required to secure a property. This is returned at the end of the tenancy when the property has been vacated, less any deduction for damage or unpaid bills. This may take a few weeks. Properties should be clean and tidy when vacated.
What happens to your deposit
Legislation which came into effect in April 2007 dictates that when a landlord or letting agent takes a deposit from a tenant for an assured shorthold tenancy, the deposit must be protected in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme.
At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, the tenant pays their deposit to their landlord or agent as usual. The landlord or agent must then ensure it is protected. Landlords and agents have a choice of three schemes providers, offering two types of scheme to protect the deposit.
In Custodial Schemes money is held by the scheme until it is time for it to be repaid at the end of the tenancy. There is one custodial scheme provider.
Under Insurance-Based Schemes the landlord keeps the deposit, and pays the insurance scheme to insure against the landlord failing to repay the tenant any money due to him.
Click here for the government information on tenancy deposits