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Return of deposit issues

Return of deposit issues

SKU: 5.13
  • Advice

    You will need to contact your landlord at the end of your tenancy and ask them for a return of your deposit. If a letting agent manages your home, you will need to contact them instead. It is advisable to write or email this request so you have a record.


    What can you do to increase your chances?

    You will have a good chance of getting all or most of your deposit back if you leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. If claiming the deposit back after leaving then you should take photographic evidence in case you and your landlord disagree on the costs needed for repairs which would affect how much deposit you should get back.


    When CAN'T your landlord take out money from your deposit?

    Your landlord should not take money from your deposit, for example, to:

    • Fix any damage caused by a repair they didn't do when they should have (collateral damage). For example, a leak you told them about that got worse and damaged the walls or floors.
    • Decorate a whole room if there are a few marks on a wall that have appeared while you lived in the property.
    • Your landlord cannot take any money out from your deposit for any 'reasonable wear and tear' - this means things that would gradually get worse or need replacing over time, for example, a door handle, any paintwork, etc.


    What to expect if your local council paid your deposit?

    There is a possibility that you will not get any money back from your deposit if your local council paid it for you or guaranteed it under a bond scheme. If your landlord takes money from your deposit for any damages or rent that's owed, your local council will have to pay it, and you will probably have to pay them back.


    Can you challenge your landlord?

    Yes. Your landlord cannot take unreasonable amounts of money from your deposit. They should provide you with valid reasons for taking money out of your deposit. It is advisable to get your landlord's reasons in writing.


    What further actions can you take?

    The action you take against your landlord will depend on whether or not your deposit is protected under a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP). Ideally, most deposits are protected.

    If you are unsure or simply don't know what scheme your money is in, you can consult the government website (


    If your deposit is protected.

    You should get your deposit back within ten days of agreeing on the amount with your landlord. It can take longer if you and your landlord disagree on the amount that's being taken off.


    If your deposit is not protected.

    If your deposit should be protected but isn't, you might be able to get your deposit back, (though there may be money taken off for any damage you have caused or if you owe any rent). You will most likely have to go to court to get any compensation. However, you will most likely win your case if your landlord should have protected your deposit and deliberately did not. Again, if you need legal assistance, you can contact us for help.


    Why have a Deposit Scheme?

    These serve as a source of protection for landlords, ensuring that they have a safety net should anything happen to their property. To begin with, the most important scheme and safety net for a landlord is the Government Tenancy Deposit Scheme.


    Government Tenancy Deposit Scheme

    All landlords must put deposits in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). These seemingly confusing schemes can be simplified as:

    • Insured Scheme

    The Insured Scheme is a scheme where the landlord or letting agent keeps hold of the deposit throughout the tenancy while paying a fee to the TDS.

    • Custodial Scheme

    For this scheme, the landlord or letting agent does not have to pay a fee, as the TDS holds the deposit and releases it back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. 

    Both schemes have their benefits, so it is important to work out what works for you and your circumstances.


    Can a landlord make Deposit Deductions?

    The simple answer to this is YES and once the tenant has left, the landlord may make deductions. Here are some examples of when this might be possible:

    • Unpaid Rent;
    • Property repair costs;
    • Replacement costs of lost, broken or removed items;
    • Serious Damage to the property;
    • Cleaning and maintenance;
    • Cost to repair the damage done by recklessness/pets.


    Can you bring claims under TDS?

    It is possible to resolve disputes under the TDS scheme. If all parties to the dispute agree to TDS resolving the dispute, TDS can appoint an impartial adjudicator to make a legally binding decision. This normally is done within 28 days of receiving the parties’ consent and the evidence. 


    How we can help

    Lestons can review any tenancy agreement to confirm deposit issues. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team / property surveyor and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

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