How to get your deposit back
Make sure you:
attend any checkout inspection
get your landlord or agent's contact details
check which scheme your deposit is protected with
Ask your landlord for the money
Copy this text into an email to your landlord or letting agent:
Email heading: Deposit refund request for write the property address
I am the former tenant/lodger [delete one] of the above address.
I'm writing to ask you to refund the tenancy deposit I paid to you on write the date you paid.
The property has been left in good order and the rent was fully paid.
Please refund the full write the amount ££ within 10 days of receiving this email.
Write your name and phone number
Download the template
You can also download the template as a letter to ask for your deposit back (DOC 20KB).
Your landlord should respond quickly. Chase them up after a week.
If you agree on the amount
Your landlord may agree to return your full deposit or you may agree about deductions.
What happens next depends on the type of scheme you are in.
You or your landlord can ask for the money to be released.
All schemes must return the money within 10 working days. Most say you should get it in about 5 days.
You can use your online account to ask for your deposit. Phone your scheme if you have problems.
Your landlord or agent holds your deposit during the tenancy if it's protected with an insurance scheme.
They can return it by bank transfer, in cash or by cheque.
If you have a preference, tell your landlord. They don’t have to do it in a certain way, but they should not make things hard for you.
Your deposit should be returned in a reasonable time, for example 10 days.
If you don’t agree with deductions
Your landlord should return the amount they think you’re entitled to.
You can accept this payment. It does not mean you've agreed to the deductions.
Use the scheme's dispute resolution service
You can challenge deductions through the scheme if you think they're unfair.
Each deposit protection scheme has a free dispute resolution service that:
looks at evidence from both sides
decides how much of the deposit should be returned to you
Once the scheme has all the evidence, it can take 1 month or more for a decision.
You cannot use the dispute resolution service unless your landlord or agent agree to this.
Tell your landlord you plan to use the service. They may try and solve the situation before the formal process goes ahead.
You may need to consider court action if your landlord won’t agree to use dispute resolution or the scheme won’t take on your dispute.
If your landlord doesn't respond
You may need to follow a different process to get your money back.
You need to start a process known as a single claim. You can only start this if it has been 2 weeks since you asked for the money via the scheme.
Statutory declaration forms
Each scheme has a different way to start a single claim.
They send you a form called a statutory declaration. Fill this out and have a solicitor witness you sign it.
TDS will send you a form automatically if your landlord has not responded within 2 weeks of your request to release your deposit
DPS ask you to use your online account to request the form
Mydeposits ask you to contact them for the form
You can use a high street solicitor to witness the signature. They should only charge around £5.
Getting the money back
Once the scheme gets your application they give the landlord another 2 weeks to respond.
If there's still no response, the scheme should pay your deposit back within 10 days.
If your landlord gets in touch with the scheme at any time during the single claim process it will be referred to the dispute resolution scheme.
If they get in touch and refuse to use dispute resolution you need to start court action.
You need to:
get a court order confirming the money should be paid to you
send the order to the scheme so they can repay your money
How Sophie got her tenancy deposit back
At the end of her tenancy in a shared house the letting agent refused to return Sophie’s £700 deposit until she sent a letter threatening legal action.
Last updated: 13 March 2022