What is a Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

Does the tenancy deposit schemes apply in Wales? Following the implementation of significant changes in Wales to housing law, many landlords have been left with many question marks as they begin to relearn their legal obligations and the new terminology.

One issue in particular that many landlords have been enquiring with our legal team about is whether the tenancy deposit scheme requirements apply to the new type of contracts in Wales.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements were replaced on 01 December 2022 with ‘Standard Contracts’ in Wales under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”).

Chapter 4 of the Housing Act 2004 states that the tenancy deposit scheme requirements only applies to assured shorthold tenancy agreements. Because landlords, understandably, don’t want to spend days reading the thousands of new pieces of legislation, they’ve been contacting firms like us to get answers.

The 2016 Act provides (at section 45) that tenancy deposit schemes apply to all Occupation Contracts in Wales.

But what is an occupation contract?

Under the 2016 Act the term occupation contract refers to both a secure contract (usually used by community landlords) and standard contracts (usually used by private landlords).

There are then two types of standard contract, a fixed term standard contract, and a periodical standard contract.

Each kind of contract gives different rights and responsibilities to both the landlord and the contract holder (tenant).

The Deposit Scheme Legislation in Wales

The requirements under the 2016 are in effect, the same as what they were under the Housing Act 2004 previously. Under the 2016 Act, landlords must:

  1. Protect the tenancy deposit with a government authorised scheme within 30 days of receiving the tenancy deposit.
  2. Provide the required information to the tenant (and any third party that paid the tenancy deposit) within 30 days of the tenancy deposit having been paid.

The ‘required information’ is defined as information that may be prescribed by law which relates to the tenancy deposit scheme. This means that law would be made setting out what the ‘required information’ must include.

The Renting Homes (Deposit Schemes) (Required Information) (Wales) Regulations 2022 sets out what the required information is at Regulation 3.

The 2016 Act provides (at Schedule 5 of the Act) that where the landlord has failed to comply with the tenancy deposit scheme requirements, the following consequences will apply:

  1. The contract-holder can apply to the Court to ask the Court to order that the person holding the tenancy deposit repays it in full to the contract-holder.
  2. The contract-holder can apply to the Court to ask the Court to order that the person holding the tenancy deposit to pay the tenancy deposit into a custodial tenancy deposit scheme.
  3. The contract-holder can apply to the Court to seek an order that the landlord pays the contract-holder 1-3 times the value of the tenancy deposit as a penalty for failing to comply with the tenancy deposit scheme.
  4. The landlord cannot serve a no-fault eviction under notice under s.173 of s.186 of the 2016 Act.

In order to lift the resection on serving a no-fault eviction notice where the tenancy deposit scheme requirements have not been met, the landlord would need to return the tenancy deposit to the person that paid the tenancy deposit.

So, does the tenancy deposit scheme apply in Wales? – Yes, it does, and landlords should ensure they comply with the tenancy deposit scheme requirements to preventing facing a penalty and restrictions on eviction.

Quick Terminology Guide

For the avoidance of any doubt the new law in Wales was not simply a changing of terminology, but changes to legal notices, contracts, rights and obligations of landlords and occupants, which came with changes to terminology.

The aim of this guide is to help private landlords understand the new terminology better, quicker, and find the relevant forms that they may need. It should be noted that where a prescribed form is available, the landlord must use that prescribed form for it to have effect.

New Terminology
Previous Terminology



Fixed Term Standard Contract

Fixed Term Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Periodic Standard Contract

Statutory Periodic Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Secure Contract

Assured Tenancy

Written Statement

Terms of Tenancy

Required Information (Tenancy Deposit Scheme)

Prescribed Information (Tenancy Deposit Scheme)

Section 159(1), 161(1), 166(1), 171(1) or 192(1) Notice (Form RHW23) for any breach of the tenancy

Section 8 Notice (Form 3)


Section 182(1) or 188(1) Notice (Form RHW20) for Rent Arrears of 2 Months Worth of Rent or More

Section 8 Notice (Form 3) Based on Ground 8


Section 173(1) Notice (Form RHW16 & RHW17)

Section 21 Notice (Form 6A)

Section 186 Notice (Form RHW22)

Section 21 Notice (Form 6A)

Section 194 Notice (Form RHW24)

Section 21 Notice (Form 6A)

Author: Mr Sasha Charles, LLB (Hons)