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Cambridge City Council

Deposit protection for private rented accommodation

Landlords must place tenancy deposits for assured shorthold tenancies in an approved scheme. This helps to ensure that any disputes can be dealt with quickly and cheaply, reducing the need to go to court.

The government has approved three companies to run tenancy deposit schemes:

If your landlord does not protect your deposit with one of these companies, you can take them to court. The court can order them to meet their legal requirements and pay you compensation.

Are you an assured shorthold tenant?

Most tenancies with private landlords or letting agencies are assured shorthold tenancies. Use Shelter’s tenancy rights checker if you are unsure what type of tenancy you have.

If you do not have an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord does not need to protect your deposit in this way. This would be the case if you live with your landlord or in student halls.

In this case, if your landlord doesn't return your deposit, the only way to get your money back is to take them to court.

Shelter provides advice about how to retrieve your deposit. You can also contact us for advice and support.

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