How to get your deposit back

How to dispute unfair deductions

Your landlord should return the part of the deposit they think you should get, even if you haven't reached an agreement yet. Accepting this payment does not mean you've agreed to any deductions.

You can challenge any unfair deductions from your deposit by following the steps on this page.

Contact your landlord or agent

Write to your landlord or agent to tell them that you do not agree with the deductions. Show them your evidence and explain the reasons you do not agree.

Keep copies of any emails or letters you send and get proof that they were received if you can. For example, send letters by recorded delivery.

Your landlord is responsible for returning your deposit if the agent is no longer operating. This applies even if the agent did not pay the money to the landlord.

Copy this template into an email to your landlord or agent.

[Use the subject: Refund of deposit balance]

I am writing to ask you to return the rest of my deposit for [previous address].

My tenancy ended on [date].

The property was left in good order and the rent was paid until the end of my tenancy.

I paid a security deposit of £xxx. So far only £xxx has been returned to me.

Please pay the balance of my deposit: £xxx.

If you do not intend to return this money, please explain your reasons in writing. Please list any financial losses and send any receipts or invoices.

You protected my deposit with [name of scheme]. I propose we use their dispute resolution service if we cannot agree an amount to be returned.

I look forward to your reply within 10 days.

You can also download to send as an attachment or letter:

Use your scheme's dispute resolution service

You can only do this if your:

  • deposit is protected in a scheme

  • landlord or agent agree to dispute resolution

Each deposit protection scheme has a free dispute resolution service. They look at evidence from both sides and decide how much of the deposit you should get back.

Find out how to prepare evidence for a tenancy deposit dispute.

You can raise a dispute through your scheme's website:

0300 and 0333 numbers are not free to call but might be included in mobile packages.

Consider court action

This takes time and you usually have to pay a fee to start a claim.

Your landlord might return your money to avoid court action if you have a good case.

You may need to take court action to get your deposit back if:

You can claim compensation if your landlord has broken deposit protection rules.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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