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Deposit Dispute


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Hello all,

I had a previous tenant that was introduced to me by an Agent on a 'let only' basis. The Agent collected the advance rent and the security deposit from the tenant. The Tenancy Agreement that was drafted by the Agent and information regarding the safeguarding of the deposit was disclosed in it by the Agent – this was with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Although I gave my DPS details to the Agent before the tenancy commenced, the Agent was late in releasing the funds to me to protect with the DPS. To be precise they give it to me 10 days after 14 days from the start of the tenancy, in which I protected it as soon as I received it the following day.

The tenant has moved out now and we are in dispute over the deposit. I have not released the funds as they have breached the contract by vacating the property before the termination date of the contract. However, they have informed me that they will proceed with an application to the court on the basis of I have not complied with the requirements of the scheme as I was late in protecting the deposit. Am I liable for the Agent's action?

The DPS scheme states the following:

"Under the Housing Act 2004, the landlord is responsible for protecting the deposit. If the landlord has instructed an agent to take the deposit, the ultimate responsibility will remain that of the landlord. The landlord must ensure that the agent is instructed to deal with the deposit in accordance with the legislation."

Although this was not a fault of mine, have the tenant got a case against me? Also what is the likelihood that I might have to pay the penalty (even though the deposit was protected afterwards but slightly late)

I understand the court can order me to repay the tenant three times the deposit amount plus the original deposit paid as a result of this.

I would be grateful for your thoughts on the above matter.


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I would not worry to much as there is already precident been set by late payers into the DPS by Landlords.

It was not or is your intention to withhold the deposit, it is just that it is dispute, dont be threatened by the tenant.

Talk to the DPS and i feel sure that they will advise you accordingly.

Everyone assumes also that the DPS will return money within 10 days, that might be the case if there is no dispute, however, if there is it is considerably longer.

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