How to get your deposit back

If your deposit is not protected

Your deposit might not be protected if:

  • your landlord or agent has broken the rules

  • you did not have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST)

  • you were a lodger or lived in the same house as your landlord

You can use our letter template to ask for the return of your deposit.

When to consider court action

You might have to consider court action to get your deposit back if:

  • you cannot agree on deductions

  • your landlord or agent does not respond

Court action takes time.

In most cases, you have to pay a fee to start a claim but get this back if you win.

If your landlord or agent has broken the rules

You can claim deposit compensation through court if it was an assured shorthold tenancy.

You could get your deposit back plus compensation of up to 3 times the deposit amount.

Most landlords or agents will want to avoid court if they have broken the rules.

Some will agree to refund your deposit and make a reasonable compensation offer at some point in the process. This is called 'settlement'.

Get any settlement offer confirmed in writing.

You should send a letter before starting court action.

It gives you both a chance to negotiate and agree without going to court.

If you were a lodger or did not have an AST

You cannot claim compensation because your landlord did not have to protect your deposit.

But you can still apply to court to get your deposit back.

You have to use the small claims court process.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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