The law states that deposits paid on or after 1 April 2013 by tenants in the private rented sector must be protected by your landlord in a Government approved tenancy deposit scheme. There are three such schemes in Northern Ireland – TDS NI and MyDeposits. These schemes make sure your deposit is safe and have fair dispute processes that you can use if necessary.
Make sure your landlord has secured your deposit with one of these schemes within 28 days of paying your money. Within 35 days you should have been provided with full details (called your ‘prescribed information’) about the scheme and your landlord. If you have not been sent your information and therefore you are not sure whether your landlord has secured your deposit, we strongly advise you to contact them and ask for confirmation.
If your landlord hasn’t provided you with the prescribed information within 35 days or you know they have not protected your deposit, you can report them to the Environmental Health in Belfast City Council, which has the power to fine them up to three times the amount of the deposit or if prosecuted in court, up to £20,000. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have the prescribed information within 35 days and contact the necessary agencies promptly if you don’t. You can find more about the Deposit Protection Scheme at nidirect.gov.uk.