The return of deposits is governed by Chapter 34 of Housing Act 2004. The law is very precise and the deposit schemes must comply with the following for that is part of the tender process when managing the schemes under the licence they operate.
The2004 Housing Act definition of return of deposits Chapter 34 being:
669. If at the end of a tenancy both the tenant and the landlord notify the scheme administrator that they have agreed that either the whole deposit is to be returned to one party or part of the deposit returned to both parties and the scheme administrator is satisfied that such an agreement has been reached, the scheme must pay out the deposit monies due to each party in accordance with the agreement within 10 days of receiving notification.
670. Where there has been a dispute over a deposit and either the tenant or landlord notify the scheme administrator that a court has reached a final decision on how the deposit is to be returned to the parties, (and the scheme administrator is satisfied that such a decision has been reached) the scheme must pay out the deposit monies due to each party in accordance with the decision within 10 days of receiving notification.
671. Under insurance-based schemes, the landlord retains the deposit and repays it to the tenant following agreement between them. Where there is a dispute the landlord must transfer the disputed amount of the deposit to a designated account.
672. Where a tenant notifies the scheme administrator that they have requested the landlord pay them all or part of the deposit and this has not been paid to him within 10 days of this request being made, the scheme administrator must direct the landlord to pay the outstanding amount into a designated account within 10 days of being so directed.
673. Where either a court decision is made as to how much should be returned to either of the parties or the landlord and tenant has reached a decision (perhaps through alternative dispute resolution), the scheme administrator must pay this amount to the relevant party or parties. This payment should be made within 10 days of receiving notification that a decision has been made.
674. This payment should be made out of the amount held by the scheme administrator, which has been transferred by the landlord as directed. Where the amount to be paid out is less than the amount held, the scheme administrator must return the balance to the landlord. Where the amount to be paid out is more than the amount held, the scheme administrator must direct the landlord to pay him the difference within 10 days. However, the scheme administrator must still make the payment within 10 days of receiving notification that a decision has been made, to prevent the tenant from being disadvantaged by the landlord's failure to transfer the outstanding amount to the scheme administrator.
675. Schemes must ensure that the scheme administrator establishes and maintains adequate insurance coverage to allow for the scheme to make such payments where a landlord fails to reimburse the scheme. A scheme may require participating landlords to pay contributions towards this or charge any other administrative fees.
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