The new TDS feature enables members of the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) Insurance Scheme to automatically upload details of the tenancy deposits to the TDS an automatically download certificates.
Within Alto this deposit scheme is referred to as "The Dispute Service - Insurance".
This user guide covers the following processes:
- Preparation and Set-up of TDS within Alto
- Tenancy Details -> Deposit Scheme
- Sending Updates to TDS and downloading certificates
- Property Management Dashboard - Deposits not registered
- Transferring a property to another branch
- Suppressing updates to TDS
- Update issues:
- Missing information
- Update failure
Specify which group roles should have access to 'TDS Setup'. This controls access to System Tools -> TDS Accounts. We recommend only the Group Administrator role has access to TDS Accounts.
Your TDS Account details must be added to Alto.
Enter your TDS Username and Password
Select Connect to TDS and enter your TDS Username and Password in the appropriate text boxes in the screen that pops up. Once entered, press Login to verify the information supplied.
If invalid credentials are entered, you will be advised and the Connect to TDS button will remain, allowing you to try again.
If valid credentials are added, you will be able to add your Member ID information and assign a TDS Member ID and TDS Branch ID to branches in Alto.
Test the Connection to TDS
Click the Test Connection button to check the TDS connection.
The test result will appear as a message on screen.
Add your TDS Member ID
Enter your TDS Member ID in the Add Member ID box and click Add.
Entering an invalid Member ID will show an error.
Entering a valid Member ID will add it to the list below.
To delete a TDS Member ID, click on the Trash Can icon next to the ID you wish o delete and click Yes to confirm deletion.
Assign TDS Member ID to TDS Branch ID to Alto Branches
Finally, you need to assign a TDS Member ID to TDS Branch ID to Alto branches you wish to upload to TDS.
Select the TDS Member ID and TDS Branch ID you wish to use for each branch. Click Save to store the assignment.
The branch will now appear in the Allocated Branches section. Repeat this process for all branches you wish to upload to TDS Uploads.
Note: It is possible to assign the same TDS Member ID to more than one branch.
To alter the TDS Settings for a branch, select a different TDS Member ID and/or TDS Branch ID and click Save.
To unlink a branch from TDS, tick the Delete icon. When you confirm the deletion, the branch will move to the Un-Allocated Branches section.
Branches not configured for use with TDS Integration will continue to operate as per previous Alto and not show the TDS Accounts screen under Tools, not show the Certificate Download or End of Tenancy section on the Tenancy screen under the Deposit tab and will not show a clickable link for Dispute Service Insurance items under the Deposits Not Registered section of the PM Dashboard.
Note: The branch is specified on the property record relating to the tenancy.
TDS should not be enabled within Alto until all tenancy deposits registered with TDS have been entered on Alto.
Tenancy records pre-existing before TDS functionality is enabled in Alto will have the Enabled Updates tick-box on the Deposit tab of the Tenancy record unticked and disabled. We assume that these deposits are registered with TDS outside of Alto therefore must be managed manually.
Any new tenancies created after TDS is enabled will have the Enable Updates tick box ticked by default and TDS will be updated automatically.
For further details, see the Suppressing Updates to TDS section.
The TDS feature related to the Deposit Scheme option The Dispute Service - Insurance. This deposit scheme must be selected on the tenancy before the tenancy is finalised.
Selecting any other Deposit Scheme will behave as per previous versions of Alto and will allow you to store a Registration Number, Notes and information on a dispute. However, this information will not be transmitted anywhere.
The following actions within Alto will trigger data to be sent to TDS.
- Finalising a Tenancy when the Deposit has been received prior to the Tenancy being finalised.
- Receipting against a Tenancy Deposit charge.
- Receipting against a Tenancy Deposit charge via Batch Receipts.
- Receipting against a Tenancy Deposit charge via Import Receipts.
- Receipting a Tenancy Deposit opening balance via Opening Balances -> Client Accounts.
- Tenancy -> Actions -> Register Deposit with TDS - Proposed tenancies only, see Registering Deposits for Proposed Tenancies
- Refunding a Deposit.
- Changing a Tenancy to Periodic.
- Finalising a Tenancy Renewal.
Whilst information is being transmitted to TDS an indication will be shown next to the Registration No box in blue text with a blue shield. Typically, the process for TDS to generate a certificate based on the uploaded information and for us to download it, should take around 10 minutes.
If the Tenancy remains in a pending (blue) state for a significantly longer period, this may be indicative of a problem.
Once a certificate with the amended Deposit Amount and/or Tenancy Dates has been produced it will be downloaded to Alto automatically and the shield will turn green.
The date and time of the latest download are shown underneath the certificate information. A tenancy timeline entry is also created to show the certificate download has taken place.
Once TDS have processed the update, a certificate confirming the cover is generated and it is downloaded into Alto and stored against the relevant Tenancy record.
If you are editing a tenancy record when it's certificate is downloaded, a message informing you that the record has been refreshed is displayed. Otherwise the Deposit section will be refreshed the next time the record is viewed.
When the certificate has been downloaded the Registration No field will be automatically populated with the unique certificate number/reference overwriting any existing text in that field.
Adjacent to the Registration No is a shield, which is green to indicate successful send and receipt of information from TDS. Clicking on the shield icon displays a detailed log of communications between Alto and TDS.
Once a certificate has been downloaded, it appears underneath the Registration No. Clicking on the certificate details will open the certificate as a PDF file. The certificate details also show the date/time that the certificate was most recently downloaded.
An entry is added to the timeline confirming the date and time the certificate was downloaded together with a link to the current (most recent) certificate which is available to view by clicking on the entry.
When a Tenancy becomes periodic (Tenancy -> Change to Periodic) an update will be sent to TDS. The status indicator on the Tenancy -> Deposit tab will change to blue.
When TDS have received and processed the updated information, a new certificate is automatically downloaded showing that the Tenancy is now Periodic and a new timeline entry is added.
When a tenancy renewal is finalised (Finalise Renewal) an update will be sent to TDS.
No change in deposit amount or scheme
If the Deposit Amount and Deposit Scheme remain the same, the renewal information on the new Tenancy term will be sent to TDS. The status indicator on the Tenancy -> Deposit tab will change to blue.
Once the information has been received and processed a new certificate will be automatically downloaded showing the new Tenancy term. An entry will also be added to the timeline when the certificate is downloaded.
Deposit amount increase
If the deposit amount is increased at the point of the renewal, a deposit charge will be raised for the additional amount and, once receipted, this will trigger a subsequent upload to TDS which will in turn update the certificate with the new amount.
Deposit Amount decrease
If the deposit amount is decreased at the point of the renewal there will be no change to the amounts of Deposit Requested/Deposit Held and therefore no subsequent update to certificates other than updating the dates.
Change of deposit scheme
You cannot change the deposit scheme at the point of renewal when TDS Integration is enabled and the deposit scheme is set to Dispute Service Insurance.
If TDS integration is enabled and the Deposit Scheme is set to something other than Dispute Service Insurance the deposit scheme can be changed. If it changed to Dispute Service Insurance, then the following will happen at each of the trigger points (assuming Enable Updates is ticked):
- Receipt - as per normal receipting of Deposit against a Dispute Service Insurance the tenancy information is uploaded to TDS enabling a certificate to be returned.
- Refund - Nothing will upload to TDS.
- Renewal - Nothing will upload to TDS, unless the Deposit amount is increased at the point of renewal in which case the system will behave as Receipting above when the additional deposit charge is receipted.
- Periodic - Nothing will upload to TDS.
- End of Tenancy - Nothing will upload to TDS.
Starting the Tenancy vacation process in Alto results in an End of Tenancy section becoming visible on the Deposit tab of the tenancy record.
If TDS Uploads is not enabled or a Tenancy does not have Dispute Service Insurance set as the Deposit scheme, you have the ability to set a Deposit Refund Target date, Deposit Refund Agreed date, Dispute Date, Dispute Amount and Dispute Notes.
Please complete the information below, BEFORE you refund the Deposit back to the Tenants.
Refunding monies before the end of tenancy information is sent to the TDS, will not compete the registration on their Website and will need to be completed manually.
Where TDS Uploads is enabled and the Tenancy has a Deposit Scheme of Dispute Service Insurance, additional fields are visible.
Deposit Protection End Date - defaults to the end date of the Tenancy but can be changed by clicking on the date field or overtyping the date.
Dispute Status - displays 'Please select' with Dispute and No Dispute options.
An additional Amount and Date of monies to be re-paid section will appear beneath the dispute notes. By default, the amounts are £0.00 and the dates not set. The dates can be changed by clicking on the fields or overtyping the date.
Upon finalising the vacate on a Tenancy, if all three dates are set against Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy then End of Tenancy information will be automatically uploaded to TDS at this point.
Note: It is acceptable to TDS for any or all of the amount fields to be £0.00.
Whilst the End of Tenancy upload is in progress the shield next to the Registration No turns blue and the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy fields are all locked from editing.
If the send is successful the shield next to the Registration No turns green, a new certificate is accessible for viewing (with an updated date/time) and the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy amounts and date fields remain locked for future editing. An entry is also added to the timeline.
If the send fails the shield next to the Registration No turns red, the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy amounts and date fields are unlocked and available for edit. An Upload button will now be visible at the bottom of the screen and this can be used to resent the information.
If all three Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy dates are not completed at the point of finalising the tenancy vacation then these fields remains available for edit following the finalisation process.
If the Dispute Status is set to Dispute at the point of finalising the Tenancy, upon finalisation the Upload button will be visible. If this is clicked, firstly a check will be made to see if the record is in edit mode, if it is the user will be asked to save the record before continuing. If the record is not in edit mode the End of Tenancy information will be sent to TDS.
Upon finalisation the Upload button will be visible below the Amount and Date of monies to be re-paid. If this is clicked, firstly a check will be made to see if the record is in edit mode, if it is the user will be asked to save the record before continuing. If the record is not in edit mode a further test will be made to ensure that dates are set against Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy, if any of that information is missing, a message will be shown to the user. If all three dates are completed so the End of Tenancy information will be sent to TDS.
Whilst the End of Tenancy upload is in progress the shield next to the Registration No turns blue and the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy amounts and dates are all locked from editing.
If the send at this point is successful the shield next to the Registration No turns green, a new certificate is accessible for viewing (with an updated date/time) and the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy amounts and dates remain locked from future editing. An entry is also added to the timeline. The Upload button will be hidden at this point.
If the send fails the shield next to the Registration No turns red, a new certificate is accessible for viewing (with an updated date/time) and the Deposit Protection End Date, Dispute Status, Return to Landlord, Fees to Agent and Returned to Tenancy amounts and dates are unlocked and available for edit. The Upload button will remain visible at the bottom of the screen and this can be used to resend the information.
You have the option to register deposits with TDS before the tenancy is finalised in Alto. This is necessary if a deposit has been received more than 30 days before the tenancy is finalised on Alto e.g. student lets.
To register a deposit for a proposed tenancy go to Actions ->Register Deposit with TDS on the tenancy record.
Once a deposit is registered for a proposed tenancy any additional deposit amount receipted or deposit refund will trigger an automatic update to TDS.
No update is sent to TDS when the tenancy is finalised.
Note: If you have registered a deposit for a proposed tenancy you cannot edit the deposit scheme, term, start date, end date or lead tenant details. If any of the tenancy details change prior to finalising the let you will need to cancel the tenancy and create a new proposed tenancy with the new details.
Cancelling a proposed tenancy
If a deposit has been registered for a proposed tenancy and the tenancy is cancelled for any reason, you will need to send an update to TDS.
An Upload button will be visible on the Deposit tab of the tenancy record. This can be used to send the information.
The Deposits Not Registered option on the Property Management Dashboard, lists Tenancy records where a deposit is held with no Registration Number entered on the Deposit tab.
If the Deposit Scheme against the Tenancy is Dispute Service Insurance, additional information is displayed in the Deposit Scheme column:
- If the text is red and there is an image of a red shield, the Tenancy is missing required information and cannot be sent to TDS. Hover your mouse over the shield icon will display a tooltip with more information on why information can’t be transmitted to TDS.Clicking anywhere in the Deposit Scheme column will display the Missing Information screen, allowing you to supply/correct and save the missing or invalid information. If the Missing Information screen remains incomplete the Tenancy will remain in this list. Once all required information has been supplied, the text and shield in the Deposit Scheme column will turn blue to indicate an attempt is being made to re-send information.
- If the text is blue and there is an image of a blue shield, the information is current being communicated to TDS. Following receipt and processing of information received by TDS, a certificate will be automatically downloaded, the Registration Number filled in and the appropriate Tenancy will be removed from the list of Deposits Not Registered.
If a property is being transferred to a branch where TDS is not configured, following the transfer all the TDS Upload functionality and information on the Deposit tab of the Tenancy will be hidden. However, if this Tenancy previously had a registration number this will be retained after the branch change.
If the property is being transferred to another branch with TDS enabled using the same TDS Branch ID, then everything will continue as per when it was assigned to the previous branch.
If the property is being transferred to another branch with TDS enabled using a different TDS Branch ID, the associated Tenancy record will retain the number and link to the certificate associated to the TDS Branch ID of the previous branch. Any updates through any of the trigger points as described earlier in this document will continue to trigger and upload to TDS but will update the existing certificate against the previous TDS Branch ID.
If the property is being transferred from a branch without TDS configured to a branch with TDS enabled, then the following will happen at each of the trigger points:
- Receipt – Assuming Enable Updates is ticked, when receipting a tenancy deposit where the Deposit Scheme is Dispute Service Insurance and the branch is TDS enabled the information will be uploaded to TDS.
- Refund – Nothing will upload to TDS.
- Renewal – Nothing will upload to TDS, unless the Deposit amount is increased at the point of renewal whereby the system will behave as Receipting above when the additional deposit charge is receipted.
- Periodic – Nothing will upload to TDS.
- End of Tenancy – Nothing will upload to TDS.
You have the option of suppressing updates to TDS for a tenancy. This is useful if a Tenancy is already registered with TDS outside of Alto and you do not want changes against the Tenancy record to trigger subsequent updates.
There is the Enable Updates tickbox on the Deposit tab. This is ticked by default on all new Tenancy records but can be unticked on any record at any time. Existing Tenancy records established prior to the release of v2019.04 will have this checkbox disabled and unticked, to prevent the possibility of duplicate registration with TDS.
If Enable Updates is unticked (and the record saved) prior to the initial receipt of the deposit the details will not be sent to TDS no certificate will ever be downloaded and the Registration No field will remain as is.
If Enable Updates is unticked (and the record saved) with a certificate in place, any subsequent updates to the Tenancy which would otherwise result in a new certificate being downloaded (receipt of additional deposit, change of tenancy to periodic etc), will result in no information being sent and no modified certificate downloaded. If Enable Updates is subsequently re-ticked (and the record saved) you need to perform an update that would normally result in a new certificate being downloaded before the current information is sent to TDS.
If Enable Updates is unticked (and the record saved) whilst information is being sent (i.e. the shield and status message are blue), the send process will be aborted. If Enable Updates is subsequently re-ticked (and the record saved), the send process will resume automatically.
Mandatory Property, Landlord and Tenant information is required before the details can be uploaded to TDS.
When any of the trigger points above are met, a check is made to confirm all mandatory information is available.
If the mandatory information is available the send will proceed. See the Sending to TDS section.
If mandatory information is missing a message is displayed indicating that required information is not supplied. Click OK on this message to see the Missing Information screen.
This screen has three tabs – one for Property, one for Landlord and one for Tenant. A red triangle and exclamation mark indicate which tabs contain one or more fields that are missing information. Once you click on the tab, the mandatory fields with no information will be highlighted in red.
In a Tenancy where there are multiple tenants, full address and contact information is only required for the head tenant therefore only one tenant is listed here.
In the case of Tenant Email Address and Mobile Number, whilst both appear in red only one or the other is required.
Note that, as per other areas of Alto, if you enter a postcode, the system automatically completes the other fields with the appropriate address information. If there was already address information in these fields, it is overwritten by the postcode lookup.
Once missing information has been added or changes made, select Update to do a validation check to ensure all required information from all tabs is supplied. Select Update again to save the information from the Property, Landlord and Tenant tabs of this screen back to the respective records, before closing this screen and re-attempting an upload to TDS automatically.
If the information has failed processing by TDS a red shield will be shown next to the Registration No.
Adjacent to the shield is an aeroplane icon that will allow the transmission to be retried and the data re-sent.
Pressing the shield icon will show a more detailed log of communications between Alto and TDS, clicking a failed item displays the panel with details on the reason for failure.