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Any deposits paid to a landlord or agent by an Assured Shorthold tenant (most students in shared rented accommodation) are protected under a government authorised deposit scheme. Within 30 days of paying the deposit, your landlord or agent must give you details of how your deposit will be protected. If your landlord fails to protect your deposit they lose the right to automatically gain possession by giving two months' notice, and the County Court can order them to pay you three times the amount of the deposit.
Also, Coventry Law Centre can help people whose landlord has not protected their deposit.