Change of landlord or agent: What happens to the deposit

Find out what should happen to your deposit if there's a change of landlord or agent during your tenancy.

Change of landlord 

Your landlord could change during the tenancy if either the:

  • property is sold
  • landlord dies  

The old landlord should pass the deposit to the new landlord if the property is sold.

Change of agent 

During the tenancy, your landlord may decide to:

  • use a different agent
  • take over management of the property themselves 

The old agent should pass the deposit to the landlord or new agent. 

Who should protect the deposit 

Your deposit should be protected with a scheme throughout your tenancy if you have an assured shorthold tenancy. This is the most common form of private tenancy.

If there's a change of landlord or agent dealing with your deposit:

  • the old landlord or agent should inform the protection scheme they use
  • the new landlord or agent should arrange for the deposit to remain protected  

The new landlord or agent should also give you written information about the protection scheme they have used and their contact details. 

The old landlord or agent may insist the deposit is protected by new landlord or agent before they transfer the money.

Find out more about the deposit protection rules.

Check with the deposit protection schemes

You can check your deposit is still protected if there's been a change of landlord or agent during your tenancy. 

Each scheme has its own procedures for dealing with changes. The scheme must inform you if they stop protecting your deposit.

You may be able to claim compensation if your deposit becomes unprotected.

Who should return the deposit

You should ask the landlord or agent who has been dealing with the deposit to return it at the end of your tenancy.

You can use the protection scheme's free dispute resolution service if there's any disagreement about how much you get back.

Problems may arise if the:

  • deposit is no longer protected
  • new landlord or agent never received the deposit from an old landlord or agent

Ultimately, your landlord at the end of the tenancy is the person responsible for returning your deposit. This applies even if they never received the money from your old landlord or agent.

You may have to consider court action to get your money back if your landlord won't return your deposit.


Last updated 01 Jul 2019 | © Shelter

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