Under the Housing Act 2004 (updated 6th April 2007) your landlord or the managing agent of your property has been legally obligated to protect a tenants deposit within 30 days of receipt, failure to do so could result in heavy penalties.
Also required by law is for a landlord to provide their tenant with the Government's How to Rent guide and other prescribed information which includes all relevant information about your deposit and the scheme in which it is being held, including all contact details.
It used to be that if you didn't have this information, you would have to contact each scheme operating in England and see if they have records of you, your property and/or your deposit. This is very time consuming and sometimes, you may still have to go down this route, especially if the tool below doesn't help you.
The tenant's voice, in partnership with Depositrecoveryclaims.co.uk, has developed a neat little tool to enable tenants to find out who their tenancy deposit is registered is. The tool performs a search on all three schemes operating in England at the same time, these schemes are The PRS (which we're members of), The Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services: Property. The tool is "quick and accurate", according to The Tenants Voice.
You'll have access to that tool by clicking here or by copying and pasting the link below into your browser address bar:
Alternatively, you can use the tool below which is emulated from the link above, please note: the form will only work whilst the above link is working, if the web address of the tool changes, the below tool may cease to function or be visible.
Visit this link if you find your landlord hasn't protected your deposit: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit or alternatively, visit this link or https://www.depositrecoveryclaims.co.uk to make a claim against your landlord if you've already left the property and they failed to protect your deposit or they're otherwise a bit of a handful to deal with; you'll usually be legally entitled to compensation should you make a valid claim should your landlord or managing agent fail to protect your deposit.
We use the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) currently to protect your deposits though we are considering also using MyDeposits, operated by Hamilton Fraser who also operates the PRS, the redress scheme we are registered to so be sure to ask which service your deposit will be protected with if in any doubt, however, this information will be given to you at the point you move into the property.
What if I'm a landlord who hasn't registered my tenants' deposit?
Don't despair. Get it protected immediately. Alternatively, return the deposit and be honest with the tenant and the fact you didn't register it, as such, you've opted to refund it to them early; this comes with the caveat of not being able to make deductions should they trash the place when they move out but in our experience, this is usually unlikely and the likeliness only increases when the relationship between the landlord and tenant deteriorates - one way of maintaining good relationships with tenants is by being honest.
This isn't something you should take lightly. A court can award compensation of up to three times the amount of the deposit to the tenant; quite a nasty blow and can often mean more than the value of three or four months rent. If you're in any doubt, get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.