It is a good idea to ask the tenant to pay a deposit at the start of the tenancy to cover cleaning, breakage and damage that may occur during the tenancy.
The maximum level of tenancy deposit you can ask a tenant to pay depends on the total annual rent for the property:
up to five weeks’ rent if the total annual rent for the property is less than £50,000
up to six week’s rent if the total annual rent for the property is £50,000 or above
In England & Wales, deposits taken by landlords of assured shorthold tenancies (with rent up to £100,000 per annum) must comply with the tenancy deposit protection scheme.
The government-backed schemes are:
The schemes contain an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service which is free of charge. A dispute will only go to court if both landlord and tenant cannot agree to use the ADR service.
In Scotland a deposit must not be more than two months' rent.
In Scotland, if you take a deposit from your tenant, it must be paid into an approved deposit protection scheme. This must be done within 30 working days of the tenancy start date. The government-approved schemes are: