This article has been written in response to a tenant’s query: “I asked my partner to move in with me – does this affect my deposit?”

Valentine’s Day is here and you may be thinking of inviting your partner to move in with you. If you are a tenant and considering making this move, there are some things you need to bear in mind.

The first thing you should do is speak with your landlord or agent.  They are likely to want credit checks and references done on any new tenants. Having done that, the tenancy agreement will need to be updated to reflect the changes.

How will it affect a tenancy deposit?

Having an extra tenant in a property may lead to the landlord or agent increasing the deposit; additional tenants mean more wear and tear – and therefore a greater risk of damage.  The new tenants will want to have their interest in the deposit protected, which means updating the deposit protection details.

Apart from new tenants, there may in fact be other parties to think about: was any increase in the deposit paid on behalf of the tenants by somebody else? If it was, they need to be given Prescribed Information because they are a ‘relevant person’ in relation to the deposit.

Of course, the change in tenants will also be relevant to the deposit when the tenancy ends. If the landlord or agent raises a dispute at the end of the tenancy, an adjudicator may approach things differently knowing that the number of tenants has changed. The allowance they make for wear and tear is likely to be higher as the property is receiving more use during the tenancy period.

Remember: You are essentially renegotiating the contract so make sure this is done correctly, ensuring that your landlord or agent has evidence that all parties are in agreement. It is also extremely important that any changes are reflected on the deposit protection. The deposit may have been protected on the first tenancy agreement; but this does not automatically carry protection over to the second replacement agreement, as some of the names will be different. If the information is not updated, this could mean that the deposit for the second tenancy is unprotected.

About TDS

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.

TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.

TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.

TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.

TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.

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