The Dispute Service tenancy deposit scheme
The Dispute Service Ltd (TDS) is an independent, not-for-profit company established in 2003 to resolve complaints and disputes arising in the private rented sector speedily, cost-effectively and fairly.
Who can use The The Dispute Service (TDS) scheme?
Any private landlord or regulated letting agent offering residential property for rent is eligible to apply to join TDS. They will be asked to provide relevant information – as set out in the Rules of the Scheme – to determine if they can be accepted as members, and what their subscription will be.
Whats the Cost of the Scheme?
Landlords and agents pay to register the deposit on your behalf and for the tenants themselves its free to access your account information.
How is the Deposit Protected?
The deposit holder, who is a member of TDS, holds the deposit, in a separate client account.
How is the Deposit Registered?
Registration is done by landlords and agents and your landlord/letting agent must register the deposit with The Dispute Service (TDS) within 14 days of receiving it and provide the tenancy details and your contact details.
Can I access my deposit details online?
When your deposit is registered you are allocated a unique deposit ID number and you can access the site using this code. If you have not received this information request it. You can check it here
How do I request payment of my deposit?
The Landlord/Agent will conduct an "check-out inspection" to confirm that all is well with the property and then refund the deposit in full unless they can show good reason to withhold all or part of it. Assuming that you and the Landlord/Agent agree on how much of the deposit you should get back, you should receive it from the Landlord/Agent within 10 days of reaching an agreement or within 10 days of formally requesting the return of your deposit from your Landlord/Agent.
What happens if we can’t agree on how the deposit is repaid?
The member will transfer the disputed deposit amount to TDS. It has a special cash fund which enables the ICE to carry on with an adjudication and to pay out the disputed amount even if the member has not sent it. TDS will pay out the disputed amount according to the instructions of the ICE. If the member does not send the disputed deposit amount, TDS will take legal action to recover it. TDS will claim the disputed deposit amount from its insurers if the member is unable to pay e.g. because it has become insolvent.
The tenant has 20 working days to tell the member that they wish to dispute their proposed allocation of the deposit, and the member has 10 working days to resolve it.
- If not, the parties decide if they want to go to court, or to have the ICE deal with it – which is what most people prefer. Either way, the disputed deposit must be sent to TDS.
- The party who wishes to submit a deposit dispute to TDS sends details of the dispute on the Notification of a Deposit Dispute form, together with relevant documentation.
- Whoever is holding the deposit must send the amount in dispute to TDS.
- The ICE will copy the details of the dispute to the other parties, giving them 10 working days to send in their side of the story.
- The ICE will appoint an adjudicator with a view to issuing an adjudication within 28 days of receiving all the necessary paperwork.
- The disputed amount will be paid out in accordance with the adjudication within a further 10 working days
How quickly can I get my deposit back after the end of the tenancy?
You should receive it from the Landlord/Agent within 10 days of reaching an agreement or within 10 days of formally requesting the return of your deposit from your Landlord/Agent.
Summary of Benefits of the Scheme.
- The Dispute Service Ltd (TDS) is an independent, not-for-profit company established in 2003 to resolve complaints and disputes arising in the private rented sector speedily, cost-effectively and fairl.
- Agents who wish to join must be members of one of the Approved Bodies.
- Deposits will be protected during the tenancy.
- Where there is no dispute at the end of the tenancy, the deposit should be returned promptly by whoever is holding it.
- Where there is a dispute about the return of the deposit it will be dealt with fairly by the Independent Case Examiner (ICE).
- The ICE will make a decision quickly, and the deposit will be paid out without unnecessary delay
What are the terms and conditions of using the Deposit Protection Scheme?
Below is an Extract from the official TDS Scheme Rules. For a full downloadable version please go HERE