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TDS Explained

Posted on 4 January 2023
TDS Explained

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Explained

Since 1 April 2013, landlords in Northern Ireland must protect their new tenants' deposits under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.  If a landlord uses a custodial scheme to protect a tenant's deposit, the landlord gives the deposit to the scheme administrator.

Landlords must use an approved scheme to protect tenancy deposits.

Examples of approved schemes are:

  • TDS Northern Ireland
  • My Deposits
  • Letting Protection NI

The scheme protects a tenant's deposit because:

  • The schemes looks after your deposit until it is required to be paid back
  • Your deposit is safe if your landlord or their letting agent goes out of business

Getting your deposit back from a custodial scheme:

  • You or your landlord can ask the scheme to repay the deposit at the end of your tenancy.
  • You and your landlord have 30 days to respond and agree or disagree with the amount.

The scheme only returns the deposit:

  • At the end of your tenancy
  • If your landlord or their letting agent want to move the deposit to another scheme administrator for protection
  • If all parties agree to repaying a deposit
  • If you and your landlord agree the amount of deposit to repay, the scheme administrator must repay you the deposit within five working days of that agreement.

Disagreement about repaying a deposit

If you or your landlord disagree about how much money to repay, the scheme administrator holds the money. They do this until you and the landlord resolve the dispute and agree the amount.

Things to remember:

  • It is the tenants  deposit – and therefore their money.
  • It is always the landlord’s responsibility to prove that there is a dispute, and provide sufficient evidence to the scheme.  The best way to do this is to have a sufficient inventory and check in document at the start of the tenancy. The tenant must get this at the start of the tenancy.
  • At the end of the tenancy a check out document should be completed.  This, along with any invoices and quotes will be needed to form part of the landlords evidence for their claim.  

You can always find out more information by contacting your local Templeton Robinson Lettings Manager.

Lisburn Road 028 9066 3030                    
North Down  028 9042 4747
Ballyhackamore 028 9065 0000             
Lisburn 028 9266 1700