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How to get your deposit back

How to dispute unfair deductions

You can challenge deductions from your deposit if you think they are unfair.

Deductions mean your landlord or letting agent keeps money from your deposit. For example, to pay to fix damage that they think you caused.

Write to your landlord or agent

Say that you do not agree with their reasons for keeping the money.

Keep copies of any emails or letters you send and the replies. Get proof that your landlord received any letters you sent. For example, send letters by recorded delivery.

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 the letter template to send as an attachment or letter:

Use your scheme's dispute resolution service

You can ask your deposit scheme to help if you think your landlord should not keep your money. This is called raising a dispute.

You can do this if:

  • your deposit is protected in a scheme

  • your landlord or agent agrees that they will do what the scheme says

Each deposit protection scheme has a free dispute resolution service.

They look at evidence from you and your landlord. They decide how much of your deposit you should get back.

How to raise a dispute

You can do this through your scheme's website:

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

Consider court action

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

  • your deposit is not protected

  • your landlord will not agree to dispute resolution

You could claim compensation if your landlord breaks deposit protection rules.

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

Court action takes time. You usually have to pay a fee to start a claim.

Find out about:

If the landlord is not using the same agent

Your landlord is still responsible for returning your deposit.

They must do this even if the agent did not give your deposit back to your landlord.

Last updated: 9 May 2024