Sorting out problems with deposits

My landlord didn’t return all the deposit when I left

Your landlord might be allowed to make deductions from – keep some of – your tenancy deposit if you:

  • did not pay all the rent you should or
  • caused damage to the property, furniture or other equipment that came with the home or
  • the property needs to be cleaned by a professional cleaner

Any deductions your landlord makes must be reasonable. ‘Reasonable’ means:

  • your landlord has to say how much is being taken
  • what it is for

If you think the deductions are wrong write to your landlord to say so and ask for the rest of the money. Choose template letter below to help you.

Shelter – deductions landlords can take from deposits

Shelter – getting your deposit back

Taking action to get my deposit back

There are different ways to get your deposit back depending of if your deposit is protected or not. Check if your deposit is protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. There are 3 Government approved deposit schemes.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

My Deposits

Deposit Protection Service

If your deposit is protected by one of these schemes

Make a record of the reference number. Use the scheme dispute resolution process to get your deposit back. ‘Dispute resolution process’ means the process you use if you disagree with the amount of deposit your landlord wants to keep or if you not happy with why they want to keep it.

If your deposit is not protected by one of these scheme

Write to your landlord to ask for the deposit back. Use the template letters to help you.

Shelter – template letter to ask for deposit back

Shelter – template letter to ask why deductions made

Think about starting court action in the small claims court to get your deposit back. This can be expensive. Get advice before you start any court action.

Citizens Advice Bureau – Small Claims Court

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