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What can a landlord keep from your deposit?

Unpaid rent and bills

Your landlord can keep your deposit to cover any missed rent payments.

Use bank and benefit statements, a rent book or emails to prove what you have paid.

Using a deposit to pay your last month's rent

You should pay your last month's rent on the normal rent due date. If you do not pay it, your landlord can keep your deposit.

Some tenants do not pay their last month's rent because they:

  • are worried they will not get their deposit back on time

  • need to pay a deposit and rent in advance on their new home

If you decide to do this, check your tenancy agreement carefully to see if your landlord could charge you late fees for unpaid rent.

Your landlord can only charge a late fee if your:

  • agreement says they can

  • rent is at least 2 weeks overdue

Late fees could be taken from a deposit or your landlord could go to court to get them back.

Leaving a tenancy without notice or agreement

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

Depending on your tenancy you could be responsible for rent until:

  • new tenants move in

  • your fixed term ends and all tenants move out

  • the tenancy ends by agreement with your landlord

  • you end a rolling tenancy with a tenant's 'notice to quit'

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

Find out more about what happens in this situation.

Unpaid energy bills

Your landlord can only withhold your deposit for unpaid bills if it has cost them money.

For example, if the gas company installed a prepayment meter and your landlord has to pay to change it back before they rent out the property again.

Your landlord cannot withhold your deposit just because you have not paid your final energy bills. Your debt is to the energy company not the landlord.

Contact your energy company at least 2 days before you move out. Tell them:

  • the date you are leaving

  • your new address so they can send you a final bill

Take photos of final meter readings on the day and send them to the energy company.

Find out about help if you're struggling with energy bills.

Last updated: 7 July 2022

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