A security deposit is a sum of money that you give to the person that owns the house (landlord). It is normally the equivalent to a month’s rent however there is no limit to how much a landlord can request in a deposit if you rent privately. The deposit acts as a security measure for the landlord in case the tenant damages the property or doesn’t pay rent.
The landlord must put the deposit into a government backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if the house is rented on an assured shorthold tenancy.
Providing you meet the terms of the tenancy agreement, don’t damage the property and pay your rent and bills, you should get the entire deposit back. The landlord must return your deposit to you within 10 days of agreeing how much you’ll get back.
If you believe your landlord isn’t/hasn’t used a TDP scheme when they should have done you can apply to your local country court, and seek legal advise.
This is the money you pay to hold a property before an agreement is officially signed. Once this process is complete the holding deposit should become your deposit, which the landlord will then put into a TDP. Please note, prior to it being an official deposit, the sum of money doesn’t need to be protected so can be risky, although this is a common procedure.