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What can a landlord keep from your deposit?

Breaking your tenancy agreement

Your landlord should not keep your deposit if you break a term of your agreement unless your actions cost them money.

Look out for unfair terms about cleaning

Tenant must clean the property to a professional standard. This is only fair if the property was cleaned to a professional standard before you moved in.

Tenant must pay for professional cleaning. This is not fair and cannot be enforced. Fees like this are now banned.

'No pets' clauses

Your landlord cannot keep your money just because they find out you had a pet.

But they can make deposit deductions if your pet causes damage.

Leaving a fixed term tenancy early

If you leave without agreement or using a break clause, you are still responsible for rent.

Your landlord could keep your deposit to cover rent until either:

  • the fixed term ends and all tenants leave

  • new tenants move in under a new agreement

If your deposit does not cover the unpaid rent they could take court action.

Leaving a rolling tenancy without notice

You can end a rolling or periodic tenancy either:

  • by agreement with your landlord

  • with a tenant's 'notice to quit'

You should do this before you move out but you can also do it after you leave.

You are responsible for paying rent until your tenancy ends legally.

You will probably lose some or all of your deposit if you leave without ending your tenancy.

If your landlord agrees to let you leave early or at short notice, make sure you get this in writing so that everyone is clear when the tenancy ends.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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