How to get your deposit back

If your landlord does not respond

Your next steps depend on if your money is protected with a:

  • custodial scheme - where the scheme holds the deposit

  • insurance scheme - where your landlord holds the deposit

Deposits held in a custodial scheme

You can start a single claim process through your scheme.

You can do this if your tenancy ended at least 2 weeks ago and either:

  • you do not have an address for your landlord, or other way of contacting them

  • you wrote to your landlord at least 2 weeks ago to ask for a refund and they have not replied to say if they agree to a refund or not

How to start a single claim

Each scheme has a different form called a statutory declaration.

You need to fill in the form and ask a solicitor to witness you sign it. The solicitor can only charge around £5 for this.

Getting the money back

Once the scheme gets your application, your landlord has another 2 weeks to respond.

If there's still no response, the scheme should pay your deposit back in full within 10 days.

If your landlord gets in touch with the scheme during the single claim process, the scheme will offer their dispute resolution service.

If you or your landlord cannot agree and refuse to use dispute resolution, you can only get your deposit back through court action.

Deposits protected in an insurance scheme

You need to apply to court for a money order that confirms how much should be paid to you.

This is sometimes called a small claim. It can take several months but could be much quicker.

You can ask for a judgment by default if your landlord does not respond to your claim within 14 days of getting a copy from the court.

If you get a money order, send a copy to the scheme. The scheme then refunds your money.

Find out how to get your deposit back through court action.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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