#AskTDS: Where Can I Find the Prescribed Information?
In this week’s #AskTDS, we answer a common question from landlords, “where can I find the Prescribed Information?”
What is the Prescribed Information?
Under the Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) legislation which came into force on the 6 April 2007, the landlord of a property, rented under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) in England and Wales, is required to serve Prescribed Information (PI) to the tenants and anyone who paid the deposit on the tenants’ behalf(known as a relevant person). This is to ensure that tenants are made aware of how the tenancy deposit has been protected to comply with the legislation.
The Prescribed Information that is required is set out in The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 and has details of the precise information that must be set out, including:
- Information about your scheme.
- Information about your tenancy.
In addition, the information that must be served includes:
- TDS’ address and contact information.
- A leaflet entitled What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme? which explains what tenancy deposit protection is, who TDS is and how we operate including:
- The procedures that apply when returning the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
- The procedures that apply when either the landlord or the tenant is not contactable at the end of the tenancy.
- The procedures that apply where the landlord and the tenant dispute the amount of the deposit to be paid or repaid at the end of the tenancy.
- The facilities available under the scheme for dispute resolution.
Where can I find the TDS Prescribed Information template?
If you are a member of the TDS Insured Scheme, you can find the scheme leaflet “What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?” on our Guides and Forms page, under the Prescribed Information tab. Here you’ll find a PDF and a Word template for the Prescribed Information and also suggested clauses for the tenancy agreements and terms of business. Although there is no prescribed layout for the information as set out in the legislation, TDS has provided a template that members may find useful to help capture all the details that are required.
Similarly if you are a member of the TDS Custodial Scheme, we provide a Word template for the Prescribed Information available on our Guides page, under the Rules and regulations tab.
Who should I serve the Prescribed Information to?
The Prescribed Information must be served to the tenant and any relevant person. A “relevant person” is any person, company or organisation who paid the tenancy deposit on behalf of the tenant. This can include; parents, a local authority, employers or a guarantor.
We strongly advise landlords to establish, when a tenant applies for a tenancy, whether the tenancy deposit will be paid (or has been paid) by someone other than the tenant because they will have to serve the Prescribed Information to such a person.
When do I need to serve the Prescribed Information?
The tenancy deposit must be registered and the Prescribed Information including the scheme leaflet must be served within 30 days from and including the date that the tenancy deposit was received. This includes the situation where a letting agent acting for the landlord receives a tenancy deposit, irrespective of whether the funds have cleared. The clock starts ticking once the landlord or agent has taken the tenancy deposit.
The Prescribed Information should be served each time there is a new AST, within 30 days of a new AST being created.
If the tenancy rolls over into a new fixed term AST or a statutory periodic tenancy, there is no need to re-issue the Prescribed Information as long as:
- The deposit was correctly registered for protection when the tenancy deposit was taken at the start of the original tenancy.
- The property address as let remains the same.
- The tenant(s) remain the same.
- The landlord(s) remain the same.
- The tenancy deposit protection scheme used remains the same.
If any of the above conditions do not apply, the tenancy deposit registered under our TDS Insured scheme for landlords would need to be registered again for protection and the Prescribed Information and scheme leaflet served within 30 days of the tenancy change. For letting agent members using our TDS Insured scheme, a new registration may not be necessary but a requirement under the Deregulation Act 2015 may mean the PI and scheme leaflet needs to be served again; keep a record as well for future proof.
What happens if you don’t serve the Prescribed Information?
Failure to serve the Prescribed Information within the 30-day limit would be a breach of the TDP legislation and therefore could result in penalties being applied by the Court:
- The landlord may be liable for a penalty between an equal sum of the deposit up to an amount of 3 times of the deposit at the Courts discretion.
- In addition, you also may not be able to rely on a section 21 notice seeking possession.
For more landlord tips, please view our landlord FAQ page.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland's leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.
ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: firstname.lastname@example.org. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.
RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: email@example.com and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year's membership.