Evidence to help get your deposit back

There are different types of evidence you could use to help you get your deposit back when your tenancy ends.

Using evidence in a dispute

If you think your landlord or agent is making unreasonable deductions from your deposit you can use different types of evidence to dispute them.

There are different ways you could challenge unfair charges, but you can use similar evidence for each method.

Inventories and check out reports

Inventories from when you moved in can be useful to compare with check out reports, and may help you show if charges are unreasonable.

Make sure you attend the check out inspection

Your deposit scheme or the court may not consider a check done by a landlord as reliable as one by a third party.

Photos and video

Take photos when you leave the property.

If you also have photos or video from when you moved in, this may be helpful to show any change in condition of the property.

Make sure photos and video are clearly labelled or explained. Include details of:

  • what room or area they show
  • what they prove
  • what date they were taken

Dates of digital copies may be checked. Undated photos may be disregarded in a dispute

Statements from other people

Statements from other people can be useful to show that deductions from a deposit are unfair.

For example, from the previous or next tenants or neighbours.

Letters, emails and other messages

Emails and letters can be useful as evidence of things like:

  • repair issues you reported
  • agreements made between you and the landlord
  • any notice you gave to end the tenancy
To help set out your evidence, ask yourself:
  1. What's the deduction for?
  2. Did my actions cost my landlord money?
  3. If there is an issue, is it damage or is it wear and tear?
  4. What evidence do I have to prove the charges are unfair?

You can use your evidence to dispute unreasonable deductions from your deposit.


Last updated 01 Jul 2019 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.