You’ll need to contact your landlord at the end of the tenancy and ask them for your deposit. If your property is managed by a letting agency, you’ll need to contact them instead.
We highly recommend sending an email when you request for your deposit to be returned - that way you’ll have a record of when you requested it.
Before you leave the property
You’ll have a much better chance of getting your deposit back if you leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in.
It’s a good idea to collect evidence of the property when the final tenant moves out in case you and your landlord disagree on deposit deductions. If possible, you should:
• Take photos/videos of the property so you have physical proof of the condition when you moved out
• Get a check-out inventory and ask your landlord to sign it.
Deductions from your deposit
You may not get the full amount of your deposit back if:
• You owe rent
• You’ve damaged the property - marks on the wall, damage to the walls etc
• You’ve lost or broken some items from the inventory - plates, cutlery, beds etc
Your landlord shouldn’t take money from your deposit to:
• Replace items which are under 'reasonable wear and tear' - worn carpets, sofas etc
• Fix any damage caused by a repair that wasn’t carried out
• Decorate a whole room if there are only minor marks on the wall
Your landlord cannot take money from your deposit for reasonable wear and tear.
Challenging your landlord
Your landlord cannot take any unreasonable amount of money from your deposit. If your landlord is planning to make deductions, they should tell you why and if they don’t you must ask them.
Here’s our top tips on how to challenge your landlord if you feel that the deposit deductions are unfair:
• Request for written itemised bill from your landlord for the deductions
• Make sure you get this in writing (either by post or email) so you can refer to it if you need to take action to get your deposit back
• Ask your landlord for more information about the costing of each deduction if it’s not clear
• If you’re unsure about the cost of a deduction, you can ask to see the quote from the decorator to prove how much the work would cost
• If you cannot agree on the deductions with your landlord, you can then take further action
• The action you take against your landlord will depend on which deposit protection scheme your deposit is lodged in.
Your landlord is legally required to place your deposit into a deposit protected scheme. If they do not, they could face a hefty fine. If you are unsure where your deposit has been lodged, you should ask your landlord for more information.
Raising a dispute
You can raise a dispute to get your deposit back if you cannot contact your landlord and your deposit is held by one of the approved TDP schemes:
Deposit Protection Service
Tenancy Deposit Scheme