On the 06 April 2007 holding deposits for landlords and agents changed quite considerably. The new legislation was later updated to give us 30 days to protect the tenants deposit and not the 14 days as was originally advised.
Since the launch of the deposit protection law, the government awarded three companies the right to manage tenants deposit and offer protection. One was awarded the right to offer a custodial scheme (Deposit Protection Service - DPS) the other two could only offer insured schemes (MyDeposits & Tenancy Deposit Scheme).
The three deposit protection providers all now offer both custodial and insured schemes, although I would personally check terms and conditions for each one as they do differ. Regardless of this, my company has stayed with the DPS Custodial scheme due to its total transparency.
As part of the selection by central government, each company had to offer a dispute resolution service to enable the tenants a fair chance of getting the deposit repaid without unreasonable deductions. This resulted in an unprecedented demand for the resolution services offered, with many outcomes favouring tenants over disputes as the burden of proof was lying with the landlord! So how did I manage not to get involved with using the dispute resolution service?