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At the Dispute Service, we understand that tenants and landlords can encounter problems during and at the end of a tenancy which they may find difficult to resolve. We are here to help.

If you have a tenancy deposit protected by Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), operated by the Dispute Service, we offer a free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service to address any disagreements over how the deposit should be repaid.  We deal with over 20,000 deposit disputes each year.

Our experienced staff are on hand to speak to the parties to understand the nature of the problem and help you reach a mutually agreed solution. This means that the outcome remains within the parties’ control and that the deposit can be released at an early stage. If you use the TDS custodial scheme, you can also use our online negotiating platform to reach your own agreement.  Up to 50% of disputes are resolved without the need for more formal intervention.


Sometimes it is necessary to refer the dispute to one of our team of adjudicators to decide how the deposit should be paid.  Our adjudicators are drawn from a variety of legal and property backgrounds and are members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. They are independent and impartial and make their decisions based on the evidence provided by the parties.  Adjudication takes longer and needs the parties to provide evidence to support their case and to agree to be bound by the outcome.  However the service is free to use and is a much quicker alternative to going to court.

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The Dispute Service also operates TDS Resolution which is a mediation/conciliation service to help tenants and landlords reach a mutually acceptable solution and sustain their tenancies.  This is also a free service which can cover a variety of issues arising during a tenancy, from repairs to entry rights and outstanding rent.

Our mediation team will make an appointment to speak to the landlord and tenant either separately or together with the mediator.  The discussions are confidential and, if they are successful, a settlement agreement is drawn up to document what has been agreed.

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Deposit Dispute Resolution

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) provide both Custodial and Insurance-backed deposit protection [where we are the largest scheme] and currently protect 1.45m deposits and adjudicate with about 16,000 disputes a year.

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Zero Deposit

TDS provides the ADR service in relation to disputes about monies losses at the end of tenancies covered by the Zero Deposit financial guarantee to landlords.

Mediation Service

TDS Resolution aims to help landlords and tenants agree rent repayment plans to avoid tenants being evicted.  The service we provide helps landlords demonstrate that they have complied with the Pre-Action Protocol relating to proceedings before Court but more importantly help both landlords and tenants to agree rent arrears repayment plans.

Average time in days to resolve disputes

[from when an adjudicator has all the evidence]


Calendar days

TDS Insured


Calendar days

TDS Custodial


Business days

TDS Northern Ireland


Business days

SafeDeposits Scotland

Number of adjudications across all schemes



TDS Insured


TDS Custodial


TDS Northern Ireland


SafeDeposits Scotland

Who raises disputes?




Letting Agent



What makes a successful claim?

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The Dispute Service has recently joined Twitter. On Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can keep up to date with the latest news, guidance and case studies.

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Build your deposit protection knowledge

TDS Academy online provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes. All attendees receive a certificate which you can use to gain CPD points. You can choose between two online courses.

Our TDS Foundation Course & TDS Adjudication Workshop courses still have spaces – Book today!

Check out our 'Disputes Chatbot' to find out how successful your claim would be and what you need to do to make sure you present your claim properly. 

Click here to access our real-life case studies which will help you see cases from an adjudicator's perspective and avoid costly mistakes!

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