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Change of landlord or agent: What happens to the deposit

Your landlord or agent must protect your deposit in a scheme within 30 days of receiving it.

If your landlord or agent changes:

  • the old landlord or agent should tell the protection scheme

  • the new landlord or agent should make sure the deposit is still protected

Keep track of your deposit if your landlord or agent changes during your tenancy. Your deposit must be protected for your whole tenancy.

The scheme your deposit is in must tell you if they stop protecting your deposit for any reason.

The new landlord or agent should give you written information about the protection scheme they are using. 

When your tenancy ends

Ask your new landlord or agent to return your deposit.

The person who is your landlord or agent when your tenancy ends is responsible for returning your money, even if they never got it from your old landlord or agent.

Find out how to:

Compensation if your deposit is not protected

You could get compensation of up to 3 times the deposit amount if:

  • your deposit is not protected

  • it was protected more than 30 days after the landlord or agent received it

If your landlord or agent changes, you need to work out who is responsible for protecting the deposit so you know who to claim compensation from.

If there is a change of agent

Your old agent should transfer responsibility for your deposit to the new agent when they stop managing the property.

You could claim compensation from the:

  • old agent if they still have the deposit and it's not protected

  • new agent if they receive the deposit but do not protect it within 30 days

If the property is sold to a new landlord

Your deposit is usually passed to your new landlord as part of the sale.

Your new landlord has 30 days to:

  • protect your deposit

  • give you information about which scheme it is in

You can claim compensation from your new landlord if this does not happen.

If the deposit is not passed to the new landlord when the property is sold, the old landlord is still responsible for protecting it.

You can claim compensation from your old landlord if they do not continue to protect it.

You can also make a small claim against your new landlord for the return of your deposit. You cannot claim compensation from them if they did not receive the deposit.

If your landlord dies

When your landlord's estate has been sorted out, the person who inherits the property is your new landlord.

Your new landlord must protect your deposit if they decide to manage the property themselves. You can claim compensation from them if they do not.

They might use an agent and give them responsibility for the deposit. You can claim compensation from the agent if your deposit is not protected.

Find out how to make a tenancy deposit compensation claim.

Last updated: 23 March 2023

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