How to get your deposit back

Evidence for a deposit dispute

The deposit protection schemes will ask for evidence if you ask them to resolve a dispute.

They look at evidence from you and your landlord to decide what happens to the deposit.

You usually only have one chance to submit your evidence. Check the scheme's online information to see when the deadline is.

It usually takes at least 1 month to get a decision and it could be longer.

The scheme's decision is final and cannot be challenged.

Before you gather your evidence, check what landlords can deduct from your deposit.

How to raise a 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.

Inventories and check out reports

Make sure you attend the check out inspection.

Compare the inventory from when you moved in with the check out report. This may help you show if charges are unreasonable.

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, they may help 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 date they were taken

  • what they prove

Dates of digital copies may be checked. The scheme may disregard undated photos.

Letters, emails and other messages

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

  • repair issues you reported

  • any notice you gave to end the tenancy

  • agreements made between you and the landlord

Statements from other people

Statements from other people can be useful.

For example, previous tenants, neighbours or contractors.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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

Get help