Contact DPS Deposit Protection Customer Service
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Pro Tips for those calling our DPS customer service number
The Deposit Protection Service has been made part of legislation.
The government noticed that deposits that were being paid by tenants, were often being unfairly withheld at the end of the tenancy agreement. The legislation was introduced to stop this behaviour.
A deposit is intended to be held as security for:
- The performance of any obligations of the tenant
- The discharge of any liability of his or hers, arising under or in connection with the tenancy.
Never pay any money to anyone that says they’re calling from DPS to take a payment from you. This is a scam and should be avoided.
The DPS is a free service to use for all landlords and tenants across the United Kingdom.
The Deposit Protection Service is the official provider sanctioned by the British government to carry our custodial and insured tenancy deposit protection schemes. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), as set out in the Housing Act 2004, says that all agents or landlords protect their tenants’ deposits under a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving a deposit.
Frequently asked questions for those who called our DPS contact telephone number
Does the law apply to all tenancy agreements?
Tenancy Deposit Protection only applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies. This is the most common type of tenancy agreement.
Where can I get more information about my specific circumstance and if I need to use this service?
You can call the dedicated help line by calling the DPS number above to find out any of the required information – alternatively, you can fill out the online form that is accessible from the DPS website.
What is “Prescribed Information”?
Prescribed Information is information that the landlord is obliged to tell the tenant about the deposit and how it’s handled by the DPS. This is also a legal requirement.
The details of the prescribed information order (2007) can be viewed online.
Can I transfer from one account to another? (within DPS)
No. The change in accounts can only be “closed” and not transferred. You are able to have more than one scheme at a time though, so speak to one of the DPS advisors on the helpline to find out more.
I’m a landlord, how many tenants can I register with one deposit scheme?
You can register up to 10 under one scheme. If there are more tenants than this, you will need to register a second scheme to run alongside the current one.
One this is split into two or more schemes, the appropriate amount in separate deposits must be made.
How long will I have to wait for an answer to my question I submitted using the online form?
All queries are handled as soon as possible and the busy service could take up to five days to respond to individual cases from the time you submitted your query.
If this time period elapses, please get in touch with the dedicated help line where an advisor will assist you further.
Remember that when making an online submission, check for the confirmation email and after 5 days of not getting a response, check your spam folder first.
How can I get my deposit back?
The method for getting the deposit back, or reclaiming it, can be done by two people: the landlord, or the appointed agent working on behalf of the landlord, and the tenant – either the only tenant (sole) or the person named as the lead tenant in the rental agreement.
In the first instance, one of these parties should access their online account with the Deposit Protection Service, and then select the option for asking for a repayment.
Following this, there will be clear guidelines and a process to follow online to get the ball rolling.
After this, the Deposit Protection Service will inform the other party that you have made the request, and ask them to also log into their online account and complete their half of the form to make the repayment.
If on the other hand, they don’t have an online account, then the DPS will give them a hard copy to fill out, sent via the mail.
If you don’t wish to do it online, it’s also possible to request a form known as a Joint Deposit Repayment Claim Form.
If this is the process that you follow, then both parties will have to come to terms on the method and form in which the repayment is processed (either over the internet or on paper).
Having both agreed to one way of processing will ensure that the repayment is done as quickly as possible. In either case, the first thing that you may wish to do is access the DPS website.
How long does it take before I get my deposit back?
After the formal side of things has been completed, the DPS state that the deposit funds will be released in ten days or less. Only in the circumstance that there is something incorrect in the process will this take longer.
However, if the other person involved (either the agent or landlord, or the tenant) does not complete their side of the process, then the DPS will hold onto the deposit until they receive further information in the form of something known as a single claim (detailed further on this page) or an official message from the courts known as a Court Order.
How do I get my money back? Can I get it in cash?
The Deposit Protection Service will refund the money into a standard United Kingdom bank account.
Alternatively, if you wish to receive a cheque then this may also be possible – it can only be made payable to the person who should receive it, and not to a third party.
If you live overseas, or have a bank account in another country that you would like the money paid into, then it may be possible to do so, although this could incur additional fees and extra charges.
I have a deposit but the website says it’s a ‘disputed claim’, what does that mean?
This means that there is currently a disagreement (dispute) regarding your deposit.
If this is the case, the first thing that you may need to do is to log into the site using your ID for both the deposit and repayment, then submit the ‘request repayment’ form.
Following this, you may move onto the next step, which is called ‘deposit distribution’.
Here you enter any amounts that are not being argued by either party, known as the ‘undisputed amounts’. If the entire deposit is in question, or in ‘dispute’ then you may leave this section as 0.00.
The second step following this is to fill in the tenant details, giving the banking information for the tenants who need to receive a share of the deposit.
Following this, you may move onto step 3, known as ‘Tenant Review’. This is where you review the information given so far, and accept that the DPS will use their service known as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service.
Finally, you should receive an email confirming that you’ve completed your section. Then, the agent or landlord will have to fulfill their section of this process.
If they don’t reply to the DPS email or contact, then they will try again a week later.
What happens after I submit my claim for repaying the deposit?
After you’ve done this, the DPS will contact the other person or persons involved (i.e. the landlord or agent/lead tenant(s).
They will receive either an electronic mail or a text message which will tell them that you have completed a form or formal request on the online account, and will instruct them to either complete their part online or to fill in a hard copy of a form to either agree or reject your claim.
You might want to also follow up with the agent or landlord, just to inform them that you’ve completed this section and to let them know that they will be receiving contact from the DPS.
If the other party doesn’t reply however, then the DPS will keep hold of the deposit until someone fills in the information for either a single claim, or they take the matter through the courts and receive an order to make the payment.
Can you explain a repayment ID?
A repayment ID is an identification number or user name which is provided to both the landlord or agent, and the lead tenant or sole tenant, after a payment has been processed.
Repayment IDs should not ever be given to the opposite person, for example, if you’re a landlord, you should not provide your Repayment ID to the tenant, and vice versa.
How do I find the Deposit Identification (ID)?
There is a specific document which has this information on it, which you should’ve received in both a soft copy if you’ve provided an email address, and as a letter to the address of the property in question that the deposit is for.
This is called the Submission Confirmation form, and you should be able to find the Deposit ID on this form. Otherwise, if you’re unable to find it, you may want to contact the landlord or property agent and request the information from them.
If this is still not possible, then you may wish to contact the DPS phone number above or reach them via email in order to recover this information.
I’ve lost my repayment ID, what do I do?
If you’ve lost your repayment ID you should be able to get this information back by contacting the DPS. You can do this either by email, by online form, or by telephone.
That said you will also have to verify your identity using a certain amount of verification information, before you can get it back.
My deposit was from a third party, how does it work?
In this case, when you’ve had your deposit given or paid by a third party (i.e. someone other than the tenant and agent or landlord) then they must be officially given the title of the lead tenant.
The lead tenant does not however, have to live in the property being rented, but they do take responsibility as the lead tenant. You, and any other tenants will need to be registered as ‘additional’.
For further information on this matter or to discuss unique circumstances relating to third-party depositors, you might wish to call the Deposit Protection Service contact number directly to find a solution to your case.
I entered some information incorrectly on my deposit repayment, what should I do?
In the circumstances that you have made an error, and you realise that your error was made on the same day that you requested or approved a deposit repayment, then it is possible to cancel the repayment.
This can be done firstly by accessing the tab for ‘ongoing repayments’, and then finding the option for cancelling the repayment.
If however, it’s been longer than a day then this option may not still be available to you, so it would be best to contact DPS directly to see what the next steps would be.
It’s possible that, if the lead tenant has not already registered a reply then you will be able to change the status of the deposit.
What is the 28 day limit on the deposit protection scheme?
The DPS has a set period of 28 days from when the deposit was protected, and during this time the repayment can’t be processed.
However, there are some cases where it may be possible, but you might need to call the DPS contact number directly to explain your reasoning and why you need to process the deposit repayment within the twenty eight day time limit.
This limit is used to protect those who are using the services and is seen as a vital security instrument and one of the benefits of the DPS, although at times it is possible that there are circumstances where it is needed to initiate repayment within this limit .
I live overseas, can I get the money paid into my foreign account?
It should be possible for you to select a payment into a foreign bank account outside of the United Kingdom. There is an option when on the page for asking for repayment where you can select the country in which your bank is located.
Following that you will need to give some additional information, including some location specific information like the International Bank Account Number, or IBAN, as well as standard information like your SWIFT code, account number, name, and more.
It is possible that if you are transferring to the United States then you will be asked to provided some supplementary details like an ABA number.
It’s also worth noting that as the money is being sent overseas there could be additional fees or charged levied on the payment, so this could be an area to investigate before you decide to have the deposit transferred into a foreign bank account.
What is the DPS?
The DPS is known as the Deposit Protection Service. As the name implies, this service looks after rental agreement deposits in England and Wales, although it does not apply to other areas like Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The DPS is used to protect the money that the tenant gives, and also protect the interests of the landlord, agent, or property owner. The DPS run two distinct schemes which have benefits for certain types of user.
The two schemes that the DPS offer are known as the Custodial scheme and the Insured scheme. The Custodial scheme is free and straightforward.
Essentially, the DPS will look after, or hold, the deposit from the tenant, and then give it back to the tenant on the date that they leave the property or the rental agreement has come to a close.
The Insured scheme on the other hand, is a paid scheme where you are required to give a fee to the DPS for looking after the deposit.
It also allows the landlord more control over how the repayment is conducted when the tenant finishes their period of renting the property.
How many people use the DPS?
The DPS is a large organisation that has a big number of clients, currently holding in excess of one million, two hundred thousand deposits.
The DPS state that as an average figure, they receive one and a half thousand deposits each day, and have worked with tenants, landlords, and agents to resolve in excess of ten thousand disputed deposits in the last year.
When should I choose a Custodial scheme instead of an Insured scheme?
There are many times that you might want to use the Custodial scheme, regardless of if you’re a landlord, a lettings agent, or a separate institution, person or organisation.
This is a free service and is the reason that it’s the most commonly selected option. The deposit is protected throughout the tenancy and repaid at the end.
When should I choose an Insured scheme?
The insured scheme means that you get to keep hold of the money and it is protected by the DPS. this means that there is a small fee involved.
If you wish to use this service and you’re a lettings agent however, you’ll need to be a member of an accredited agency.
There are also possible reductions in cost for those who use the service for many different deposit.
Can anyone use the DPS?
The DPS is available to anyone who is a landlord or a letting agent, and in addition, there is not any annual fee to be a member of the DPS and there are no criterion which you must meet other than being a letting agent or landlord.
The Custodial scheme is entirely free of charge to both landlords and tenants.
Is the DPS owned by the government?
Not exactly, although it is accredited by the UK government and it is the biggest operation of its kind in England and Wales. The DPS is paid for through the internet which is raised from the depositing of funds.
It has operated since early 2012, and is overseen by a public limited company called Computershare Investor Services.
The service has recently begun to move more and more towards online dealings, allowing landlords and tenants to gain vital information on the internet, although they still run a comprehensive call center and a service which helps to solve disputes over deposits amicably and without the need for going to court.
Why did the DPS form?
The UK government came to the conclusion that at times tenants had been unfairly treated with regards to their deposits that they paid when they began a letting or rental agreement.
For that reason, they introduced Tenancy Deposit Protection to ensure that landlords and tenants are treated fairly and equally, and that no one has their deposit withheld when they shouldn’t.
This also promotes better transparency and cooperation in the letting and rental field in England and Wales.
Who is liable for a deposit and making it secure?
The specific law which details this responsibility is known as The Housing Act 2004. This act states that the person who is solely responsible for reasonably protecting the deposit is the landlord, and even if the landlord has given the agent authority to handle or take the deposit, it is still at the end of the day, the landlord’s responsibility.
This is not legal advice however.
Can a deposit be something other than money?
On the DPS’ website they state that the Housing Act 2004 states that a deposit for a tenancy can only consist of money, and cannot consist of anything else.
What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)?
An AST is one of the main types of tenancy in private rental of accommodation in the UK. It came into being under a law known as the Housing Act in 1988. Deposit protection for tenants may not apply to agreements that aren’t ASTs.
Can I use the DPS logo on my website?
If you wish to do this, it may be possible but you will have to contact them directly giving details of your organisation or your business and why you wish to use the DPS logo, as well as where you wish to use it?
I got a phone call from the DPS saying I owe them money, how can I deal with it?
The DPS state that on their website they do not make telephone calls requesting payment. This means that if this is the case you should take steps to report the case to your nearest police department and register it.
How much does the DPS Insured programme cost?
To use the DPS Insured Scheme there is a standard fixed rate which is paid per deposit. For each deposit for a letting agent, the fee is nine pounds fifty pence. There are also possible discounts depending on how many deposits you need looking after.
If you’re not a lettings agent but are a landlord, then the fee is fifteen pounds for deposits which are under five hundred pounds in total value, and twenty two pounds twenty pence for deposits in excess of five hundred pounds in value.
It’s worth noting that you must first be a member. There are no membership or annual dues to be paid for membership, so to register as part of the DPS Insured scheme does not incur any charge in and among itself.
How do I know if I’ve registered successfully for the DPS?
If you filled out the registration information for the Deposit Protection Service online, the DPS state that you should receive an electronic mail which your details that you used to register, and this will also come with some supplementary information like T’s and C’s.
You will then receive a second email which has a confirmatory link which will help you to make sure your account is activated.
If on the other hand, you did the registration process over the phone, then you will receive a written letter which gives you similar information, as well as some registration forms for submitting a deposit.
Do I need an agent or landlord ID?
Yes, this is a special and unique identification number for the agent or landlord using the service.
This is an important detail for making sure the DPS is looking at the correct person when conducting routine tasks, so you should endeavour to keep this information safe.
Why did the DPS send me two sets of Terms and Conditions and which one should I use?
The DPS state that they send two separate sets of terms and conditions to those who register. The first of these is for the service while the second one is information on terms and conditions for the scheme.
It’s worth noting that both of these apply and are valid. The DPS also states that if you are using the DPS Insured scheme, then you terms and conditions for the Insured DPS are the ones which apply.
If you lose these documents, you will be able to find the again online. In short, both sets of terms and conditions apply.
Why has my personal information been deleted/I can’t see my personal information?
This might be due to the length of time that it has been held by the DPS. Under UK law, there is a specific act for the protection of private personal data.
If the DPS has held this private and personal information for too long then they will have to delete it when it is not needed any more.
I want to authorise a 3rd party to handle my DPS dealings and account, can I do that?
It may be possible to do so, and you will need to gather information about the third party’s name and details for contacting them, and then transfer it to the DPS using either their online portal or by calling them over the telephone.
My account is giving me an error message when I log on, why?
There are several reasons that you could be receiving an error message when you log on to your DPS account.
The most common one is that you are logged into two different systems at once. One ‘session’ can only be up to sixty minutes, and after that you will be signed out as a user.
If you resign in or sign out within this window then it could cause a conflict.
The simplest way to remedy this is to ensure that you are properly logged out when you have finished using the DPS online service.
Why is my account logging out automatically?
As a privacy and security measure, the DPS portal is set to log users out after sixty minutes of use, this is known as a ‘session’.
If you’re experiencing problems because of this, it may be worth investigating whether you are logged in elsewhere or whether you attempted to log in again within that sixty minute window, as this could affect your session.
How is a lead tenant different from a regular tenant?
The lead tenant is the person nominated to take on responsibility and act for the other tenants.
They are therefore in charge of the deposit section of things on the DPS portal, and they can either choose to approve or disapprove a repayment when it is started by the landlord or agent.
The lead tenant is responsible for sharing out the correct amount of the deposit once it is repaid, so it is a role that takes some responsibility and authority when compared to that of a regular tenant.
What do I do if my tenant died?
If your tenant has died, then you will need to find the representative or nearest relative (kin) of the person in order to process the repayment and bring the business to a close.
You will also have to potentially change the name and information of the tenant.
For more information on this you may wish to call the DPS telephone number directly.
When was this scheme introduced?
Initially this was created as part of a law known as the Housing Act 2004, and it came into force in 2007.
It is a way of making certain that tenants and landlords receive their deposits back fairly.
What happens when my tenancy finishes?
When your agreement is over then you need to come to terms with your landlord on exactly how the deposit will be repaid.
In this case, both the landlord and the tenant need to speak to the DPS to relay their thoughts on how it should be repaid.
If the parties cannot come to an agreement or equitable terms then the DPS will offer a service known as the ADR, or Alternative Dispute Resolution service, to come to a conclusion and make a decision on the deposit in question.
What is a deposit dispute?
THis is the name given to the circumstance in which the landlord and agent do not agree on exactly how much of the deposit should be paid back and how much should be deducted.
When a dispute occurs, the DPS will try to solve it in the first instance or recommend using the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, which is designed to settle these matters.
What is the ADR?
The ADR is an alternative choice to the historical method of going to a court.
If there is a problem or dispute over the deposit, then this decision will go to someone else, a third party, known as an adjudicator.
This person has to be impartial and expertly qualified. They will make a clear decision based on the evidence which is submitted by the landlord or agent and the lead tenant or tenants.
What evidence is acceptable for the ADR?
There are many kinds of evidence you could submit, including photographs, bills, invoices, or other official documents. You will be required to send your evidence to a deadline.
The nominated independent adjudicator will examine the evidence for your case and ultimately make a decision.
How much does the ADR cost?
In the event that you have a dispute on a deposit you’ll be pleased to know that the DPS do not charge for the ADR, it is free.
What can damage my deposit?
There are several circumstances where money may be deducted from your deposit. These include if you still owe rent, or are in what’s known as ‘arrears’.
This means that you have missed a rent payment or you haven’t paid for the final month of your rental agreement.
Otherwise, it could be that there are still outstanding utilities, like electric or water bills owed, which the landlord may have to pay and then reclaim from your deposit.
Redecoration of a property could also be a factor.
While there is an allowance for ‘wear and tear’, meaning that there is some expectation of normal usage and aging of property and decoration, if there are any other signs of considerable damage beyond this normal aging, then the landlord may use the deposit to pay for them.
Cleaning could also come under a similar heading, as if there are issues like dirt in appliances, on carpets or furniture, and other areas that need intensive cleaning then this could incur a cost.
The best way of avoiding this is to make sure you take photographs when you enter and exit the property to have evidence that the place is in a similar condition to when you initially moved in.
Finally, the garden and any other damage to the property could result in deductions from your deposit.
If you have a garden at the place that you’re renting then it will be important to make sure that you leave it in a reasonable state and similar to when you moved in.
How do I get my deposit back?
You will need to ask the landlord or agent or the sole or lead tenant if you are not one of these parties, as these are the parties who can initiate the repayment of the claim.
To do this, they need to sign into their account and select the option for requesting a repayment.
There is then a guidance process which takes the user through the entire system.
This can however be done offline, and you can request a paper form in order to request the repayment of a deposit.
It’s worth noting that in order to speed things up, you might want to try and make sure that both parties agree on the terms before filling out the forms.
How long does it take to get the deposit money?
As long as the process has been settled easily, and that there is no ongoing dispute, the DPS states that within ten calendar, not working days, the payment will be processed.
This could suffer delays in the case that there are mistakes on the instructions given, or mistakes in the forms submitted by either party.
What happens if the other party don’t reply?
In this case the DPS will hold onto the deposit until the time that they receive a court order to release the repayment.
How do I get my repayment?
You can get your deposit repayment made directly into a bank account in the United Kingdom, or otherwise you can receive it as a cheque made payable to the landlord, agent, or tenant.
You can also ask for it to be sent to an account overseas, although that could incur an additional cost.
What do I do if the other party won’t reply?
If this is the case then there is a process for one party of the two, known as the single claim process.
This can be used in several circumstances, including if the agent or landlord has no address that is currently registered as the tenant, or that the tenant has failed to respond within 14 days of the time that the tenancy comes to an end.
How do I use the Single Claim process?
The person claiming one must make something known as a ‘statutory declaration’, but only after a period of two weeks (fourteen calendar days) has elapsed since the ending of the tenancy.
You can do this online by logging in and selecting the tab for a single claim, or alternatively, if you cannot do it online, you can ask for a statutory declaration directly.
How do I use a Court Order to get the deposit back?
If you’ve taken the case to the county court and it has been awarded in your favour, you will need a county court judgement which states clearly the valued amount of the deposit, whom it should be given to, and whomever the administrator responsible for the deposit is.
Does the DPS give legal advice?
The DPS state that they are not trained to offer legal advice, and that if you need legal independent advice then you should seek it outside of the DPS.
The DPS is able to give some advice on DPS information and procedures, including evidence submission and the ADR, but this advice is also freely available online.
How long does the ADR take?
This depends on whether it’s a joint process or a single claim. However, the answer will vary depending on the case and there is no set length of time per se.
If the other party won’t use the ADR, what do I do?
To use an ADR both of the parties must consent to use it. Otherwise, the dispute will have to be handled by the county courts or resolved in a different manner.
If county court action is taken, the DPS will then release the money once they’ve received an order.
If I use the ADR, will the adjudicator need to speak to me?
It’s unlikely, although possible in some unlikely situations that the adjudicator would need to speak to you.
If they did, they may need to make a request for additional evidence or information regarding the evidence that you’ve submitted if they feel that it’s needed to ensure that the dispute is handled fairly and correctly.
If this happens, then it is also possible that the adjudicator will not contact you themselves but will do it through a worker at the DPS.
The other time that this may happen is if there is some evidence that is made reference to in the case but is not present, at which time the adjudicator may ask for that missing evidence.
That said, it could also be that the adjudicator will make the decision based on the evidence that is given to them.
Can I change the decision of the adjudicator or appeal against it?
It is currently not possible to register an appeal or launch a response which could change the decision of the adjudicator.
For that reason, the adjudicator, who is professionally and legally qualified and trained, has the authority to make the decision which is indisputable.
What is additional evidence that I need to submit?
If the adjudicator or your caseworker asks you to give additional evidence, or if there is a request for evidence before the case is given to the adjudicator, then you can supply extra evidence, including documents, photos,
Will the DPS contact me to ask for extra evidence?
The DPS state that they do not ask for additional evidence from either of the parties involved and they also don’t give any clear guidance on exactly what constitutes evidence.
For that reason, what counts as evidence may depend on the context of the situation and what you have available to you – there is not any single criteria which differentiates evidence from non-evidence.
Can I get my evidence back after there’s a decision made?
Whenever you submit evidence to the DPS or for the ADR, the DPS state that on their website you should only provide copies or scans of evidence and not the original evidence.
For that reason, you may be able to retain all of your original documents.
My claim isn’t worth very much/isn’t of a high value, is it still advised to submit evidence?
There’s not any exact minimum for the amount of money or amount of deposit, so the advice that the DPS give online is to balance the amount of time and effort that the process will take, combined with the cost for preparing evidence and submitting evidence.
It is also not possible for the adjudicator to give you additional costs or reimburse your costs, so this is something to consider.
I want to submit evidence through the cloud (e.g. Google Drive) is it possible to do so?
The DPS state that they do not accept evidence from cloud-based websites like DropBox, or Google Drive. The reason for this is that there are concerns about the security and accessibility of these kinds of sites.
For that reason, the best ways to submit evidence are through sending appropriate attached files which are under twenty megabytes in size.
You can also send multiple emails if your total files outnumber this attachment size.
Videos can also be submitted via the DPS YouTube channel, but it is important to make sure that it’s not a video set to private so that someone at the DPS will be able to view it.
In addition, it’s possible to submit hard copies of evidence using CDs, USB devices, and hard copies on paper which should be submitted via the postal service.
Can you tell me personal information of my adjudicator in the ADR?
The DPS state that they do not send the personal name of the adjudicator, although they might give you the information regarding the adjudicator’s level of experience and qualifications in the document which explains the final decision.