A Guide for Landlords from the DPS

How the schemes work – This is a guide for landlords to explain how the deposit protection schemes work. When setting up an Assured Short hold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales, you are required to protect deposits with a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Your letting agency will do this part for you.

Once your agent has registered the deposit, they can:

Once a tenant’s deposit is protected, they can:

Betterment is when an item is replaced without taking into consideration the age and residual life span. For example, if the bed was not brand new at the start of the tenancy, then you cannot replace this with a brand-new bed at the end of the tenancy – This would be Betterment

Deposit Protection Scheme – Fair Wear & Tear act2017

The House of Lords defined fair wear and tear as “reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces”. The word ‘reasonable’ can be interpreted differently, depending on the type of property and who occupies it.  Many landlords believe that the property should be returned to them in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy. Some minor damage should be expected in any normal use of the property,

In addition, it is an established legal principle that a landlord is not entitled to charge his tenants the full cost for having any part of his property, or any fixture or fitting, “…..put back to the condition it was at the start of the tenancy.”  Landlords should therefore keep in mind that the tenant’s deposit is not to be used like an insurance policy where you might get “full replacement value” or “new for old”.

In addition to seeking the most appropriate remedy, the landlord should not end up, either financially or materially, in a better position than he was at start of the tenancy, or than he would have otherwise been at the end of the tenancy after having allowed for fair wear and tear. This is betterment.

The nature of adjudication is that each case is considered on its own merits and no two cases are ever the same. However, adjudicators will consider the following factors when coming to a particular decision:

In the rare circumstances where damage (to the worktop/carpet/mattress/item etc) is so extensive or severe as to affect the achievable rent level or market quality of the property, the most appropriate remedy might be replacement and to apportion costs according to the age and useful lifespan of the item.

In considering whether cleaning/repair is necessary versus complete

replacement at the end of the tenancy, an adjudicator will examine the check-

in/ out reports, any statements of condition and any photos/videos in order to

compare the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy. Adjudicators will expect to see receipts or other evidence to confirm an item’s age, or its cost and quality when new.



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