My Landlord Won’t Give My Deposit Back – What Should I Do?

Landlord Won't Return Deposit

Here’s a conversation I had earlier with a friend of mine:

My ex landlord claims he’s paid my deposit, but it’s not gone into my account. Nowhere on my statement. What can I do if he keeps claiming he’s paid it?

Your Landlord is legally obligated to return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back (after the tenancy has ended, of course).

Objectively speaking, he doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on- so it’s in his best interest to make sure he returns the deposit.

God, I fucking hate asshole Landlords.

I’m assuming this is quite a common problem for tenants, even though it really shouldn’t be anymore…

Since 6th April 2007, if a tenant pays a deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy in England or Wales, the landlord or letting agent must protect the deposit into a Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.

The scheme was introduced so any disputes that incur over the deposit can be moderated and handled externally by an impartial party (i.e. one of the deposit protection services).

In the past there have been a high number of disputes between landlord and tenant regarding security deposits (e.g. deposits were being withheld unfairly), and that’s precisely why the scheme was so crucially introduced.

What if my landlord doesn’t comply with the deposit legislation (i.e. return my deposit)?

Landlords that fail to secure their tenant’s deposit can be taken to court and fined up to 3 times the deposit amount.

Securing the deposit is a legal requirement, and it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the tenancy deposit legislation has been complied with.

So, assuming you have an assured shorthold tenancy (which most people renting privately in the UK do), and if you feel your landlord is unfairly keeping your deposit, then you can take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Before you do anything else, try to have a civil conversation to come to an agreement. This is by far the easiest and best solution.
  • Step 2: Gently remind your landlord that it is his/her legal responsibility to return the deposit with in 10 days after the tenancy has ended and after having agreed to how much of the deposit will be returned.
  • Step 3: Speak to your landlord again, and assertively highlight the fact that you still haven’t received the deposit, and the penalties could result in up to 3 times the deposit amount.
  • Step 4: If you get this far without any success, it’s safe to assume that your landlord isn’t prepared to comply with his/her legal obligations. So my first port of call would be to contact the deposit protection service that the deposit has been secured with, and follow their internal dispute resolution process.

    If your landlord hasn’t secured the deposit, which could be the likely in this situation, then you can start the process of taking legal action against your Landlord via a small claims court in order to claim compensation (it’s notoriously a relatively straightforward and easy win for tenants). All the information you need to make a claim is over at the official HMRC website. Good luck!

My landlord is unfairly deducting too much of my deposit!

Your landlord is entitled to make deductions as long as they’re justified, which may include the following reasons:

  • To repair or replace missing or damaged items
  • End of tenancy cleaning costs
  • Repair damage to the property
  • To cover any unpaid rent or bills

However, if you feel your landlord has unfairly deducted too much from your deposit, you can follow a very similar process as described above, for when landlords don’t return the deposit:

  • Step 1: Before you do anything else, try to have a civil conversation to come to an agreement. This is by far the easiest and best solution.
  • Step 2: Contact the deposit protection service that the deposit has been secured with, and follow their internal dispute resolution process.
  • Step 3: If your landlord hasn’t secured the deposit, then you can start the process of taking legal action against your Landlord via a small claims court in order to claim compensation (it’s notoriously a relatively straightforward and easy win for tenants). All the information you need to make a claim is over at the official HMRC website. Good luck!

Has anyone been in this situation, where your dickface landlord has held back deposits unfairly? I’d be interested to hear your story…

208 Join the Conversation...

Showing 158 - 208 comments (out of 208)
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Paige 19th February, 2012 @ 20:21

Hey hope some one can help!
Is my landlord allowed to keep my bond (£300) if I leave my property 2 month early but still give him 28 days notice as he says I am in breech of my tenancy bur I only want to leave due to the fact that my landlord doesnt seem to be doing all my repairs he has done some ( any example he left me with a gas leak for 2 months and he was aware of this and put cellar tape on it // he left me with no hot water or any thing for 9 day ) my boiler is leakin and has been for 10 months and the pressure is always droppin and wen I report it it takes him days to sort it and I have a young child

What can I do !!

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Jeremy 19th February, 2012 @ 22:15

Hello Paige,

If you want to an Alternative Dispute Resolution service or the Court, you could argue that ths house had been kept in a delapidated state, which promed your leaving. Hence it would not be reasonable to make a deduction for early termination of contract, as he has 28 days to put right the problems and you would agree not to leave.

But you would need good evidence to rely on this getting your the right result: Otherwise you're into a "he said - she said" situation which you can nto rely upon the certainty of the decision.

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Kate 1st March, 2012 @ 10:32

I have seen a property and been asked to pay £100 to secure the room.
I paid £200 so that can go towards my rent too. Nothing has ever been signed, no contract nothing. All verbal.

I however have changed my mind, and asked for the deposit back. And because I did feel like it was unfair on the landlord I actually only asked for my £100 back.
He has been ignoring me and when finally I managed to get a response out of him he said" Why should I pay you for you indecision?"
What can I do? Any advice would be very helpful.

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Keiran 2nd March, 2012 @ 11:04


My landlord is withholding £350 of our £550 deposit for basic wear and tear but they claim that this is not the case.

We didn't receive a receipt for our deposit therefore this is a breach of contract. I have seen the above legislation as of 6th April 2007 however I live in Scotland and not sure if this applies as I don't think my deposit was protected! I have been told this legislation does not apply to Scotland.

What can I do to get my money back? They have been so unreasonable and indirectly accused us of living like tinks and it's so embarrassing.

Please can someone shed light on this.

Thanks, Keiran.

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Jeremy 4th March, 2012 @ 16:18

Hello Kate,

My advice is that I think you're stuffed. Sorry. I can't beleive you'd give someone £200 when they asked for only £100.

I think this might have to go down as a "live and learn" experience.

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hanna 6th April, 2012 @ 18:28

Hi everyone well my story is a little bit diffrent I pay my rent every month I have receipts for everything im always on time with it some times early I oftern have my dad come and fix things so I dont have to wait ages for the landlord to pull out his finger and acturly do something but today the landlord came round even after I told him not today as I am extremely busy my oven needed fixing and he was supposed to do it ages ago and the one day he wants to come over I wont be around my neighbour rang me and told me some man was knocking on the door and ringing the bell and wont go away when I came back home and told him u can not come in he was upset he bring his wife she had the cheek to tell me she was sick of getting calls every minute which is a lie cause one I wont have his number everything goes threw the estate agent and two cause I never have credit and like said I did I ask my dad and I was shocked when she said to me ill be over taking the flat when ur tenancy is.up which is probly another lie oh yea they lie lie lie they tell me everything is new which makes. Me laugh cause the bed had blood stains and the carpet had iron marks I could go on any way the thing is what do I do now

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Lizzy 16th May, 2012 @ 12:00

I went to view a house around 4 week ago and it seemed pretty decent and the landlord says if you are interested its a 500 bond and then nxt week you can come sign tenancy amd so on... anyway like an idiot i gave him 500 with no tenancy agreement there and then and he gave me a key in return, then a few days later he told me i couldnt go to the house to sort out the tenancy and he would meet me in leeds train st again i was fine with this as he seemed a decent guy... here is where it goes bad.. my mum had cancer a few years back but everything went and she was given the all clear now its back again and we only found this out 2 week ago and nothing they can do, (i know this has nothing to do with the landlord) I rang him the day after we found out my mums news and told him to keep 150 out of the 500 as it not his fault he was fine about it and told me he would send my cheque the next day. since then i have tried to contact him several times and he text once about a wk ago saying he posted it and then just turns off his phone. I have had to take time off work as my mum is really ill and this is a massive stress as i could really do with that money for my own bills now, i know its partly my fault for being naive, by the way the landlord wouldnt have lost any money as house wasnt ready to be let out it still needed painting and the sink was leaking. any advise would be appreciated. lizzy

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Jeremy 29th May, 2012 @ 22:16


I'm sorry to say this but you have two choices:
+ Forget it and put it down to learning lessons on life;
+ Conduct a time consuming, expensive and probably fruitless legal case against the landlord. All at a time when you probably want to spend as much time with your mum as you possibly can.

Some people aren't nice. This landlord soulds like one of these people. Don't let his nastiness eat you up.

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steve 6th August, 2012 @ 19:25

Hi iv got a complicated problem we moved into an all inclusive rented property then the problem started when we asked for proof our council tax was being payed we received no evidence then my wife lost her job when we wanted to apply for housing benefit our landlord told us they didn't want our sort in there property and issued a months notice to quit. we took legal advice and was assured that the minimum notice was 2 months and needed to be issued under section 21 of the housing act, so I ignored the notice to quit . however we started to fall behind with rent due to the landlord trying to evict us for wanting to generate the rent short fall through housing benefit but we were never more than 1 month behind. I contacted the council about my concerns they told me that the property according to their records was listed as a commercial industrial unit so as far as they were concerned wasn't liable for a housing benefit charge. they were keen for me to go into there offices for an interview but I declined because we felt threatened a vaunrable as it is an isolated property. the plot then thickened because we were informed by our insurer that our household insurance wasn't valid because it was an industrial let not domestic . Then we inqured about the response by emergence sevices and it was suggested that all the above my undermine the attendance by the firebrigade to an emergency . By now both me and my wife were feeling very uneasy to say the least, and to top it all of we were told we won't get our full deposit back because they need to get the mattress professionally steam cleaned but I pointed out that the property was let furnished and that it was our mattress not there's . Then we discovered that our deposit was not in a bonded account and had no way of getting our deposit back other than withholding the equivalent in rent . Can you give me any advice other that shooting myself , that's if you still have the will to live after reading this ?

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comfort 18th November, 2012 @ 18:53

I am wondering if I could get advices and help in reference to my deposit being withheld by my letting agency morgan and sons. I saw a flat that i was ready to rent and few days before i move in my guarantor called to tell me that he would not fill the documents given him by the agency and that he did not want to be my guarantor anymore.

I paid 250pounds as deposit fee and on the form i signed it is said that "once rental acceptance is authorised the holding fee is non-refundable if my circumstances change, except where a tenant does not pass any referencing carried out. in these cases the holding fee will be returned to me less the cost of the crdit check,which is 20 per person.

I want to know if I can claim my deposit.
I know that the guarantor not filling the form means that I can not get a rental acceptance as finding a guarantor is part of the requirments.

The agency asked me if I could pay 3months rent up front when i told them i could not find another guarantor.

I have been the one chasing after the agency with phone calls an,d emails that are never replied to and each time they did they told me new things they did not say during our first meeting.

A day befroe I was supposed to move in I called them and they told me that I could not move in if I do not produce documents for proof of my spouse's identity.I send them a copy of his passport.

I am finding it hard to believe that any court will find it equitable for the letting agency to withhold my holding fee on the grounds that the referencing passed.

How can the rental acceptance be authorised without a guarantor?
And if there is no rental acceptance,why should they withold my deposit?

please let me know what you think and what I shlould do.

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peter arnold cowell 26th March, 2013 @ 02:30

my land lord passed away last novemeber 2012 and before he passed away he has handing the property to a letting agnecy he didnt pay our deposit into a bond and every time we got into augument i kept reminding him of the law

how ever at the end of November we was servved a section 21 and was told we had to be out by the middle of Febuary so we did what we was told

we are now having a problem only part of the deposit has been paid back to use dispite us not being in any contract with the letting agents how ever they have deducted cleaning of the property and also moving out fees from our deposit from septeber last year we was left with no hot water and the land lord was on the ferge of getting it sorted but he come ill and passed away we informed the letting agents and they never did any thing about it can any body help please

also as soon as they served the section 21 they started pestering use to show people round the property however the property is still empty today and my old naigbour says no ones been there to do any work

i have been told i can claim back rent for the hot water but what about the fees they took out of our deposit

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Jeremy 31st March, 2013 @ 10:41

Hello peter arnold cowell,

The agent can deduct for the cost of cleaning if you left the place less clean then when you moved in. This is evidenced by the moving in inventory. If the letting agents do not have an inventory (unlikely if they 'inherited' the running of the property from someone deceased) then they can not deduct for cleaning because they can't prove it was less clean than when you rented it out.

I'm guessing the moving out fee is something the agents charge. I'm guessing a moving out fee would not be on the tenancy agreement. Therefore it is illegal to charge for this.

Also, the deposit has not been protected in a govt approved scheme. My suggestion is:

Go to a solicitor to draft up court papers pointing out the deposit was not protected and you want the full return of the deposit and consideration given to a fine payable to you. This should, at least, scare the agents into paying up in full and, if you follow through with the court action, provide some recompense for your inconvenience during the tenancy.

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Susan 16th May, 2013 @ 22:20

My landlord wants to keep all 750.00 I am not happy about this the letting agent have hassled me into accepting this but if refused and I wrote to landlord. He told me not to contact him and deal with the A's gents. Im going t o small cc claims court coz I feel it's wrong to steal my money.

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Emily 10th August, 2013 @ 18:11

We have had a similar problem, we paid a deposit of £600 and after what we thought was fully cleaning the house, even bleaching most of the bathroom, the agent has demanded £400 for a full clean, garden tidy (yard with a couple of small weeds), carpet cleaning and missing light-bulbs.

After a couple of emails and time going on, the agents do not seem to budge on their decision, contradicting themselves even by saying they manage the property for the landlord and use their contractors, and then talking about the landlord will not accept our suggestion for deduction.

What's worse is we had a final inspection with the landlord present, and all was fine, no mention of anything wrong apart from a couple of missing lightbulbs! (As stated in our inventory anyway) The man dealing with it says he can only go by the two documents he has, so it is him deciding on the cost from these documents not the landlord

The reason for the carpets is that it is due to cleanliness as I have argued wear and tear, yet we fully hoovered so they were clean.

So now we can only raise a dispute with the DPS, as there is no reasoning on an amount!

If we had known all this, why bother hoovering and cleaning!

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danny 2nd October, 2013 @ 13:18

hi i was wondering if anybody couid give me some advice
i move into my flat 11/07/09 and had my contrack renewed
up on to 11/07/12 my rent was 996.00 but my landlord says it was 733.00 he put my deposit in to a fund after my contrack expired for 733.00 but my deposit is 996.00 so when do i stand im still in the flat im on housing benefit and i am paying 360.00 pcm for a year now the landlord has sent me a letter from his solicitor say that i have two months to quit
a section 21 i just want my deposit back the full amount

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Jenny Stone 16th October, 2013 @ 11:57

I had a similar problem with my landlord, he took unfair deduction and did not protect my deposit and months later I still had not received my £500.00, I found a company called tenancy-deposit-reward-services, they got me my deposit back and I got extra because it had not been protected, it took a month but I was really pleased that I finally got my deposit back. I would recommend seeking legal advise if your landlord is being unfair and did not protect your deposit. I should have had my deposit back within 10 days if my landlord had put it in a scheme, however it took months, the way some landlords treat their tenants is unacceptable, I know their can be some bad tenants but the amount of bad landlords in my experience outweighs it, some of them clearly abuse their power. Danny if your landlord put your deposit in a fund after it expired then he has failed to meet his legal requirement, I found the guy above very helpful, I would take advice I think you have a strong claim.

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joanne ellis 1st November, 2013 @ 01:31

We moved into the property in nov 2009 and they said we didn't need a deposit! then 4 years later! we got asked to pay £800 into the dps we then had the celing fall down and kept on to them to fix it because it nearly hit the kids! and 9 months later it falls on me! fracturing my ribs! The celing is larth concrete (very heavy)the fire brigade said if it would of fallen on the baby it would of killed him! i had 2 fire engines, 3 ambulances and 2 ambulance cars and it took over 6 weeks to heal. They then fix it 3 days later! so we did up the house painted it nicely we fixed the kitchen up to best we could coz it's rotted put wooden flooring down when we first moved into the house it was weedy and messey over grown time we finished it was like new again nice and tidy scrubbed the carpets up when we moved in we had to clean it. Turf down and gravle. We did the rest of the work that they wouldn't come out and do and fixed it up so we used our own money to fix it up.It took us years to get it up together how we wanted it. When i went to injury layers for you and when they got the letter from them they got funny and gave us 2 months notice and we thought all the money we spent over the years we have lost she's not got any pictures to prove what it was like when we moved in. So we need to fight for all the money we have lost and also the front door is nearly 20 years old and damaged and there blaming us and the door frame is hanging off the wall so easy to brake into and there blaming us for it. The damp course all around the house is all cracked so my other half tryed to get it all up together when it's the landlords responsorbility so we moved out with no fuss and left that day when she wanted the keys back we rang up the dps but took a week to find out because she will not talk to us on the phone because of the court case we found out where it was in the end this is another week we have been trying to sort this out this is 3 weeks later. We found out she has given the wrong details saying we moved in 28th dec 2012 when we moved in 16th nov 2009 that makes us to be in the property 6 months! When we have been in the property nearly 5 years what #BS so if we left it as we found it she would not of given us the deposit back. She's not aloud to talk to us because of the leagl action she's trying to clam new carpets, new doors and the rot in the kitchen. Also we got pictures of how we left it and now she's got ppl in to replace the doors the kitchen the sides so she got no evedance of the house so they are spending money that don't need it in the 6 months she said we have been there so now shes not given us our deposit, She also give us a bad feedback so we lost out on a house so we are homeless with all the kids so the kids are missing out on there education at school. So now we want to get compensation for that as well for the stress they have coursed. They addmitted it's there fault to celing fell down and said and i quote "your house is not important the other houses are as they need fixing to let again as soon as there fixed we would be next" 9 months later! then the lies 1 broke his wrist so they can't do it for a while and we clamed for our stuff through the house insurance when it should of been them that sorted that out. about time we get what we deserve.

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Richard 21st January, 2014 @ 20:22

I went to view a flat from a private landlord and was happy with it, so I paid a months rent as a deposit.

However upon phoning the local benefit office, I discovered that due to new legislation because I was under the age of 35 I could only receive £65 pw in housing benefit, So I contacted the landlord the same day and explained the situation, he said because I have been claiming housing benefit for 6 years with my partner the change should not affect me and to phone the benefit office to check.

So I had to wait all weekend before I could do this and the same legislation still applied because I was going to be single and under 35.

Now the landlord is saying that he will give me my deposit back but he needs to be covered for loss of earnings because he had 3 other potential tenants viewing the property that day.

No contract was signed and no paperwork was filled out.

Is he allowe to ask for this "loss of earnings"?

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jude 11th February, 2014 @ 18:07

Hi I am currently in dispute with my previous landlord. I have an outstanding bill of 906.88 this is due to me leaving without giving two months notice. I moved in to property in 2009 there was a fault on the boiler and had been complaining for 6 months the boiler went on fire boiler was replaced with the same fault happening. Property had dampness in loft leadin downkitchen wall to electrical sockets. The walls were all water marked. The bathroom was tiled tiles comin off wall due to bath moving when in it bathroom was also loaded with dampnes and sink unsecure. I gained health issues anxiety and depression due to the continual complaints with no response. I never did it in letter and cant seem to find pictures that I took of damages I have got the fire reg number though I never kept my tennants contract I have emailed private let company constantly for this to be posted. The company are keeping my deposit because there was said to be damages when left property. They wouldnt let me know if used deposit scheme also was in property 3 years and boiler never serviced every year there was smoke alarms and carbon monoxide tho dnt knw if they worked. I have been to citizens advice who havent really been a great help and I am now in the same issue over my health. I left property because I thought the property was not fit to bring my son up in. Also had to supply on bannister due to stairs bein so narrow. Oi did ask if I could pay it over two times in ab email so I suppose I havent get a leg to stand on. Someone please give me advice as citizens advice havent really helped. Thanks so much

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Shadab 7th March, 2014 @ 15:28

I think you should contact Deposit advisory service ( They work on no win no fee basis and can help you get your deposit back, challenge unreasonable deductions, and claim additional award in case your deposit was not protected. They do all the work for you.

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Laura 26th March, 2014 @ 23:02

can a landlord charge you for the time it takes you to prepare your response to his list of costs? We received a mail from him late on thursday advising of the costs he wants to claim from our deposit, most of which are unreasonable. in that email he stated he would be charging us for everyday that it isnt resolved. then a day later he emailed again advising that he would be seeking legal advice for the delay. the thing is we needed a day to look into his accusations, compare inventory reports, and prepare a full and reasoned response. I feel like he is trying to make us hurry up so that we dont get a chance to think it through. Can he charge us for the time we are taking to reply to him? it has been a matter of days. It is distressing enough that it has got this far considering we were very considerate tenants, always paid on time, and kept him abreast of all situations. Very stressful and not made easier by the threats. i dont want to incurr any extra costs for delaying the process, but at the same want to feel that we have accurately described the situation and answered the issues he has raised.

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gary 8th April, 2014 @ 15:06

My daughter moved out of her studio flat on the 29th March she gave the landlord 6 weeks notice and left the flat clean (my wife cleaned it so I know that !) The landlord will not return calls, text or emails to meet to give the keys back and get the bond which I paid.

She never missed a payment

What do I need to do ?


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Shawn 30th April, 2014 @ 23:27

We moved out. Clean the apartment up nice and everything. We did a walk through with the landlord and her husband, they claimed that everthing was okay and we shall receive our full security deposit back.. Now my law the landlord is suppose to have the deposit back no later than 30 days, it's the 29th day and now the landlord is saying the she would have to take money from the deposit to clean the carpets, we find out because we gave her a call asking about when would the deposit get here and she drops this news on up less than 24hrs before we was suppose to have our deposit back by law. Is that legal?

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Sara Siddiqi 11th May, 2014 @ 15:31

Hi All, I am carrying out some research about how save deposits are in private renting. Can you please email me if you have had any experiences of your deposit being with held unfairly? My address is [email protected]. Many thanks

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Deepa 8th June, 2014 @ 21:07

Iam a tenant . My landlord is not paying my deposit amount,i had shifted my house on 20th may 2014.Landlord said that he will pay the amount within three weeks,but i reached his phone many times he is not picking my phone calls.i don't know what to do.please any one help me out.

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Angela 14th July, 2014 @ 13:04


We have recently moved out of our rented flat. The landlord did not protect our deposit, and now they keep playing games to get it back. When my husband did the inspection with them, they told us that everything was ok and they would refund the money on Monday. When we questioned why they couldnt do it that day, they then advised that they had to contact British Gas to see if there was an outstanding debt (despite the fact we share with 5 other people). In the end they said they would do it first thing Monday morning. When it wasn't done, my husband call them and they wouldn't answer. He texted them, and they said 'we will transfer today. Do not call back or you will see what happens'. They did not. When I spoke to them and said that they haven't protected our deposit, and we know our rights, he laughed at me and said 'Ah stupid Mrs. You think I am scared of legal action. I have been to court 17 times in the last 2 years and have never had to pay anything.' They still won't refund anything to us, and I really do know what to do. What are my rights, and where can I go from here? Thanks!

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helen 19th September, 2014 @ 10:13

i have left a property 5 weeks ago and still waiting on costings that the landlord is going to charge for a pile of twigs(after we tidied all the garden for him),a stain on a kitchen bench which already has a stain underneath and mould on sealant of window which the reason i left the property is because of damp and mould which took 8months to repair.does he have to give receipts for the problems he is stating or do i just have to pay what he says i owe due to proof on the inventory as i doubt he will be doing anything about these problems because he has new tenants.

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melani 30th October, 2014 @ 21:45

I rent the house for two years then landlord was happy and make a another year. And then end of the 3years he ask the house back. He never repair anything. So gredey for tge money. I have to do everthing. I never call him to repair anything.
Now i found a new house and gave him a notice. He said he gave good refrence for new landlord. But in two hours new landlord ring me and said your cridit and everything good but your current landlord gave bad refrence.i was nearly crying. Went him and ask what are you saying double face. He said NO HE DID NOT GIVE BAD REFRENCE. Any how he said i will correct your refrenc you must give letter by 12 in the noon today. I said i cant give latter i cant trust you. But i have 5 more mo th left on my contract.
Any how he didny put my diposit in scheem.dps.i send a letter saying i am lving in one month i need my dps number. He still ignore. What can i do? Do i newd to wait untill i live the propety. ? He will take any money from diposit. I send the first letter asking dps number? What next i have to do?
Thank yiu.

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Chris 23rd March, 2015 @ 11:00

Hoping someone can help me with this.

My partner and I have just found a house to rent after months of searching. We're going through a private landlord rather than an agent (good old Gumtree).

The landlord has said he "can't be bothered" to secure the deposit with one of the protection schemes. Is this even legal? I don't have it in writing as it was a phone conversation. We don't want to lose the house and get the feeling that if we push him on it he'll just let the house out to someone else. We're not the type to trash the place - so we don't expect any major deductions - but we don't want to get screwed at the end of the tenancy.

If the landlord refuses to use the DPS, where do we stand if he decides to make deductions? Are we complicit as he's already told us that he's not going to secure it, and therefore unable to go to court if necessary?

Thanks in advance for any advice

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Amy 23rd March, 2015 @ 11:24

It must be put in a deposit scheme.

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Chris 23rd March, 2015 @ 11:38

Amy - thank you for the reply.

I know it should be put into a scheme, but if he is refusing to do so (and I know about it), where do I stand? It's not my fault that he's not going to secure it - I have asked him to - so do I have any rights if the worst happens and we end up in court?

Thanks again

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Karen 14th April, 2015 @ 16:16

My landlady says we paid one and a half months rent in advance not deposit. So she's managed to evade the deposit scheme issue but here's the problem. She's withholdng this money claiming part of it as damages not wear and tear. How suddenly is rent in advance a security deposit when IT suits a landlord to use it as such. If it's rent in advance how does she have the right to withhold it when we don't rent there anymore? Someone help please.

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Angry Former Tenant 29th April, 2015 @ 21:23

Landlord has disputed the repayment of our deposit - every penny of it.
My husband and I rented a property from April 2009 until earlier this month - 6 years in total. We were never so much as a day late with a rent payment, kept the property and gardens in good condition, repainted rooms that needed it in neutral colours, paid all council tax and utility bills on time every month with nothing outstanding when we left, arranged for additional insulation in the loft to make the house more energy efficient, and always notified the landlord of issues that needed attention. We cleaned the house thoroughly when we vacated the property and made sure all items on the inventory were left in good working condition. We left a small fridge that was not on the inventory, but only because we told the landlord we didn't need it anymore, and he said he'd like to keep it as it may come in handy.
Conversely, the property was filthy when we moved in; riddled with damp issues throughout our tenancy due to poor quality double glazing units, faulty plumbing and poor insulation; cheap cooking appliances which we had to beg to get replaced when they stopped working; and by the end of the tenancy, electrical problems caused by the damp.
I wouldn't have minded having £100 or so withheld - 6 years is a long time and things like carpets and curtains were more threadbare when we moved out than when we moved in. Even that, however, is fair wear and tear, and if I felt like wasting my time with someone I'd prefer never to deal with again, I could dispute that too. But the full deposit is considerably more than £100, and it is money we simply can't afford to kiss goodbye for the sake of an easier life.
Has anyone dealt with the Alternative Dispute Resolution process? We now need to decide whether to use this service or take the dispute to small claims court. I don't relish the prospect of the latter, but as we have plenty of evidence to prove that we are eligible for the full deposit might it be the better option?

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lynne 10th September, 2015 @ 15:17

I have just carried out an end of tenancy clean for a customer ,, she is thrilled with it but the agency failed it for cleanliness, I have been back with their list ( it was pathetic ) and recleaned , they are now sending it to the landlord, who will decides] if the place is up to his standard I know a clerk inspects It I received his report but nowhere on it did it say pass or fail,, just SMEARS , apparently I am supposed to polish everything after I have cleaned it, including inside of the oven, anyway does anyone know if it is the clerk or the agency who decide if it has failed, thank you

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Lee 31st January, 2016 @ 18:11

I am a landlord my tenant paid £500 bond,
I did not secure the bond with a Government Scheme

he has been in the property 18mths , and posted on Facebook 6 month ago that he has burnt the carpet , and a large iron burn is in the living room carpet. He obviously admitted the damage but requested we pay 50/50 to the cost of a new carpet. I refused as the carpet would not need replacing if he had not caused the damage to the carpet - I refused as the new quote for a replacement carpet was in excess of his bond.
He has since left the property and I have since replaced the carpet, ready for the next tenant
He has since wrote to me threatening with small courts claim as I did not secure the deposit through government scheme

I understand I should have used a government scheme , but still feel its unfair that I should refund him, when he has caused the damage to the carpet

Any comments / advise would be appreciated


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The Landlord 1st February, 2016 @ 17:23

Quite simply, I think it's a losing battle for you because you didn't secure the deposit, unfortunately.

I would take 50/50 for the damages and pray he accepts that and doesn't take you to a small court. You'll probably end up paying a lot more.

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Robert 23rd March, 2016 @ 16:08


Myself, my wife, and my 2 small children, moved out of our property after being given a Section 21 from our landlady. When we moved out she inspected the property and confirmed that the condition of the property she was happy with everything, but has since back tracked and is now claiming that she wants £300 of our £750 deposit, which is protected.

She claims the costs are her time + her brother in law which she is claiming has been hired as a contractor for a days work.

We do not believe the property was left in a state, as we had a team of 5 people clean from top to bottom.

She has also sent me an email which sounds extremely like she is trying to blackmail me into giving up the part of the deposit, which i do not believe we should be giving up, as there are a lot of false claims she is making, as she seems to believe i was running a mechanics business from the property, baring in mind i am a software developer, and not a mechanic.

Please Help ASAP

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Simon Pambin 23rd March, 2016 @ 21:24

Hi Robert,

It's a pity you didn't get anything in writing when you left the property but that works both ways: your landlady will struggle to justify her claim without proper inventories from the beginning and the end of the tenancy. In any case, it's unlikely the claim for her own time will be allowed, and I doubt her brother-in-law does receipts.

Take it to arbitration with whichever deposit protection scheme your landlady uses and see how impressed they are by all her bluster.

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Robert 23rd March, 2016 @ 22:26

Hi Simon,

I have in writing on 2/3 ocassions when she has said she will return the deposit before then changing her mind, and she seems to be trying to black mail us, between the letting agent trying to say it will take months for it to be vetted by the dps adr, and the landlord then sending me a threatening email saying i should just conceed.

Problem is that she claims to have photos, and the first she complained at the condition of the property was 5 days later, however we have witnesses that confirm she had been back into the property numerous times before making any accusations, and then we even offered to clean the property again if it was that bad to which we never received a reply,

Would you say that this sits in our favour?



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Simon Pambin 23rd March, 2016 @ 22:55

I'm no expert in these matters but if you've got evidence that she was happy with the property when you left then, unless you'd deliberately concealed something (which doesn't seem to be the case here)then I'd say your erstwhile landlady has shot herself in the foot. I don't really see what she's got to threaten/blackmail you with, other than the prospect of a couple of months' delay in getting your deposit back. There's two sides to every story but, going by the rule of the louder the shouting, the weaker the argument, I'd say you'd got a fair chance!

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Karen 24th March, 2016 @ 07:00

If your landlord did not protect your deposit you can take them to court and you will be compensated up to 3 times your deposit (judge's discretion)
This is to the person who said their landlord was holding their 700 and it was not legally protected. Take them to court , you have a case.

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Lee 28th March, 2016 @ 22:41

Hello. I recently left my flat due to ill health. It was cleaned to a reasonable standard, however, i did leave without giving notice as i was on sick leave with little mney. Initially l, I agreed with the landlord to keep my deposit to cover miscellaneous . Today he visited my parents houseand presented them with a bill for cleaning, broken boiler even though it worked when i left, and one months rent. I have since discovered that my deposit was not held in a scheme. Therefore, should i counterclaim and threaten to sue him should he not withdraw his bill?
Thanks Lee

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Carly 8th December, 2016 @ 19:00

Hi, I have a difficult situation I would really appreciate some advice on.

I rented a house I was supposed to be buying, whilst trying to progress the sale on the property. We agreed through the agent to enter an AST but the vendor/landlady (VL) wanted to manage the property herself. When I arrived after collecting the keys the previous tenant was still removing her belongings (v. awkward exchange as she'd been 'forced out'). On seeing the condition of the property empty for the first time I broke down in tears - filthy/damaged/unsecure. The VL kindly arranged for a clean and essential repair's, although this still left aesthetic damage and a pretty sad affair. I paid rent for the first week while this work was being undertaken, despite not actually living there as it wasn't habitable. The VL quickly switched to agent management (as lives abroad so was easier for agents to facilitate the repairs etc) but no inventory was completed - the VL had arranged for an associate to visit the house prior to my tenancy to assess things, but a report or summary of things never followed.

With permission I partially decorated (4/7 rooms) and erected a long 6ft fence down one border of the property and continued to attempt to thoroughly clean property, still grimy with years of ingrained filth.

My deposit is held in a protection scheme.

6 months on the sale is not going ahead and I have vacated the property. It was agreed I could settle bills/move out early to enable the VL free access to move forward (I work long hours and not happy with people entering when I'm not there so didn't want to obstruct viewings etc). Although, I paid rent until the end of the notice period stipulated in the AST.

A check-out was arranged but they didn't do a full inventory as the guy said there was nothing to compare it to. He just took some pictures and general notes.

12 days after this, an email from the agent conveyed that they'd received the report and the VL also had a friend visit the property. It said deductions would be made for a) garden waste left in a shed which was already there when I arrived (there were three sheds and I only used one while there) b) repair of one of the panels on the fence I'd had put up due to it leaning a bit (which happened when the neighbour had shrubbery removed on her side and they put too much weight on the fence, I didn't see it as a big deal to complain as it was still totally secure).

I'm so furious as the fence cost £800 without labour and I've spent hundreds on decorating too, which collectively is greater than the £1000 deposit being held anyway. The house is in a far better condition than when I arrived and, whilst I knew this was at risk, I believed everything between us to be in good faith. I'm amazed how morality goes out of the window when money is concerned with some people!

A couple of days later I'd received no confirmation of the amount and wrote to the agent outlining my dismay and was clear I'd plan to appeal if this was the final decision.

It's now 4 days on from that and I've heard nothing, no response at all!

I've never had a penny witheld from previous deposits and I don't know what to do next!? Surely there'd be no case as she failed to arrange an inventory at the start?
How much longer do I need to give to them to respond with how much will be deducted?


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Caro 9th December, 2016 @ 10:32

My son & flatmates have just been through a similar situation, though it was a student let, but no inventory, dirty (inc condom wrapper and beer can under bed), broken elec socket, lights hanging out of kitchen ceiling. Landlord tried to claim £200 off of a £4000 deposit for various, incl carpet cleaning and curtain hanging. They followed the instructions on the deposit scheme website (you should have the details of this). I think it went to dispute after 10 days. They have recently heard they are getting the full deposit back and are waiting for it to come through. Hopefully you took photos when you moved in and can supply these with your evidence, though it should be for the landlord to prove damage, etc. I think some landlords rely on the tenants needing the deposit back asap so chance a cheeky deduction!

Good luck.

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Debra 20th April, 2020 @ 16:32

I have recently moved out of a private rented house direct from a private landlord, and was there for 4 years. Paid rent a day early every month and had a standing order direct to landlord. Come now that I have asked for my deposit to be sent back he is trying to say that I never paid one, and also saying I never paid my months rent in advance either when i moved in . I paid 795... 395 was the rent in advance and 400 was deposit. I also paid a 200 holding deposit for the house which I never got back or put towards rent when I moved in. He asked for it in cash and I didn’t think nothing of it at the time and paid in cash i didn’t receive a recipt on the day but he said the money would be put into the deposit scheme. At the time I was rushed for moving so thought nothing of it I had a 6 month old with me too and we had to move house the next day as I was moving from a previously rented house due to bad damp . I give him the cash the day I signed the contract. He’s also trying to say that I have been in arrears from the first day I moved in because he’s saying I never paid any money except the 200 holding deposit which he apparently put towards the rent. So every months for the last 4 years I have apparently been in arrears yet if that was the case why did I not get any letters or messages off him requesting that money ... any help or advice would be great 😩

He also has 115 of my money that went to his account as I forgot to cancel my standing order a month after I moved out , which he is keeping and refusing to give back

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Lili 3rd December, 2020 @ 21:58

My ex-landlord ignored all my emails regarding deposit refund. After moving out day he sent me email that i left some items in a property and he had to utilizate this items and send me invoice. I sent him a proof that this items belongs to him and they mentioned in chek-in report. After that he ignored my email, messages, calls and keep my deposit. Estate agency also refused to help me to contact with her. I will apretiate for any advise what I can do. Thanks

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Illy 13th December, 2020 @ 17:23

My problem is that my property manager says the law does not require him to return the deposit within 10 working days as mentioned above. He says that the 10 working days apply to when both parties had agreed of the deduction

This means I can wait indefinitely until his royal highness advises me of how much money he wants to deduct (not that I caused any damage).

Where does it actually state that there is a time limit for the LL to advise on deductions as I can't find under the government website or deposit scheme nothing but that fact that LL is required to return the deposit with 10 working days after both parties agreed of the deductions. Please please help

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Jenny 18th February, 2021 @ 19:34

Hello peoples, mine is a bit complicated. My husband and I took out a tenancy in January 06 but it was in his name. A deposit was paid. Every six months the tenancy was renewed. We got a divorce in 2010. My ex verbally agreed to the deposit staying with the landlord when a new tenancy/renewal started in my name in the same property as it would have been a headache and my son was staying with me etc. Again every 6 months it was renewed up until around 2014 -15ish? It went to a periodic. I got a notice in December 2020 stating section 21. I've only just found out the deposit paid prior to 2006 had just been protected 10 days before the notice was issued. Where do I stand on this little head twister? Is the notice valid?. It was never protected with any other scheme either as I checked. I'm not sure if the deposit even exists? I have no proof of an agreement of the deposit transfering.
I'm not trying to get out of moving as I actually want to. But, it's the validity of the notice that's bugging me. Any ideas, advice or thoughts?

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Steve 25th March, 2022 @ 13:17

To try & cut a long story short, my partner & I have just moved into a nice flat with our very domestic cat. We have a good landlord & things look like they are on the up finally after moving out of what we call the ''Crooked House'' owned by a lazy landlord to say the least. We left the keys with his estate agent for collection, sent him an email of this & requested a return on our deposit/rent in advance. He eventually replied asking us to meet him at the property to end the tenancy in what he called the ''correct manner'' within the next 2 days. We informed him we were very busy & unavailable. He promptly replied that he needed us to check the meter readings with him & tell him the name of our utility's supplier. We told him we were with British gas, they were aware we had moved & that we were on a pre-pay as you go arrangement so the meter readings would not establish any unpaid/outstanding amounts. We told him we would be happy for him to deduct 16 days rent from our deposit & to raise any issues he wishes regarding the condition of the property within 10 days. He has not replied even though he told us he was available for 2 days & wanted the inspection asap. We have not prevented him from doing this without us but as per usual he doesn't do what he is asked or give anything including acknowledging the long list of faults & repairs he has been asked to check for over a year leaving us with no hot water, a worn out, broken, faulty WC, a broken shower hook, broken window lock leaving me to hold shut with gaffer tape, a roof loosing slates, faulty radiators & non-replaced fire extinguishers which he removed over a year ago. Not to mention the damp issues or old faulty, worn out access doors. Yet he still expected full rent on the 1st of every month. Come Monday I will b taking the issue of deposit as disputed & pursuing it in the proper manner through the correct channels of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme because I believe we have given him every possible chance & he just blew it at every corner!!!

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Ash 17th May, 2022 @ 18:28

Well, to have a civil conversation he ain’t picking the call. He hasn’t even protected my deposit and is messing with me!

















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