Any deposit taken from a tenant should be protected with one of the deposit scheme providers and all that schemes prescribed information provided to the tenant within 30 days of receipt.  

Landlords should ensure they do not fall foul of the tenancy deposit legislation otherwise they run the risk of their tenant bringing a claim against them through the courts, not only for the return of the deposit but a financial penalty of up to three times the deposit amount. Furthermore, a landlord who fails to comply with the deposit requirements cannot serve a valid Section 21 Notice until the deposit is first returned to their tenant. 

Obviously the higher the rental value of a property, the larger the deposit that will be taken. Therefore, landlords need to ensure they are familiar with the tenancy deposit legislation otherwise they are potentially jeopardising or likely to cause a detrimental effect to any property investment. 

Further advice can be sought by contacting Dutton Gregory's Landlord and Tenant department - email or phone 023 8022 1344.