In this week’s #AskTDS, we answer the question “what is the difference between TDS Insured and TDS Custodial?”

TDS offers membership routes to suit everyone whether you’re a landlord, letting agent, property investor or local authority. We recognise that those in the lettings industry may want different things from their deposit protection scheme and at TDS we offer deposit protection under one roof with both Insured and Custodial offerings.

Once you’ve decided that TDS is the scheme for you, the only decision is who holds the money?

TDS Custodial

TDS Custodial is an offering which was launched on 1st April 2016 where TDS holds the deposit money throughout the duration of the tenancy. This scheme is completely free for everyone and there are no membership requirements such as regulatory body status. You can join the scheme instantly online and commence lodging deposits with us straight away. When tenancies come to an end, simply log in to your TDS Custodial database to tell us how a deposit should be repaid. We then communicate with the tenant(s) and once an agreement is reached, we repay the deposit.

Our service was tailor-made utilising feedback we received from users of the previously available Custodial scheme. This valuable market research allowed us to develop game-changing features of Custodial deposit protection, streamlining the process and saving members time and money.  The key features include a simple tenant changeover function, the ability to change a lead tenant and a time saving prepopulated Prescribed Information document to name just a few. For agent members, we also offer the option to add multiple users to your account and set different permissions for each individual.

The most popular and well-received benefit of our Custodial scheme is a powerful online dispute portal allowing parties to upload evidence and review what’s been submitted. No-one enjoys dealing with the administration involved in a dispute, but with our portal and Deductions Template guiding you through the process, it’s just one more way we are saving you crucial time.

TDS Insured

It’s not just our TDS Custodial members who benefit from the online dispute portal; the TDS Insured scheme also utilises the same useful portal to help make disputes simpler, as well as being the only scheme that allows all three parties to raise and respond to a dispute.

Under the Insured scheme, the agent or landlord holds the deposit money and pays us a premium to protect the deposit. The price you pay per tenancy can depend on a range of things from regulatory body membership to rewards for members with low dispute referrals; you could pay as little as £4.10 per tenancy. We also understand that our members have individual needs when it comes to payment and offer flexibility with subscriptions and invoices.

With TDS Insured, you discuss the return of the deposit directly with the tenant(s) and reach a resolution as to how the deposit should be repaid. You then release the deposit directly without involving TDS. If the parties can’t agree, you can still utilise the free online dispute resolution service.

The TDS system works with a range of third-party software providers such as CFP allowing time saving data imports of all your tenancy deposit data. It also gives members access to a range of different data exports for reconciliation purposes.

Whether you’re just starting to take deposits, already using us for some but not all of your tenancy deposits or looking to switch from your existing provider in full – don’t hesitate to contact our Business Development team today on or call us on 0300 037 1000.


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.

ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates. 

RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year’s membership.

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