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What if your landlord does not protect your deposit

If you pay a tenancy deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) your landlord or agent must:

  • protect your deposit within 30 days

  • keep it protected until the end of your tenancy

  • give you written information about the deposit protection scheme used within 30 days

The 30 days runs from when they receive your deposit, even if your tenancy starts on a different date.

If there's a change of landlord or agent, tenants or the scheme used, the landlord or agent must:

  • make sure your deposit is still protected

  • give you updated written information within 30 days

If you paid your deposit before 6 April 2012 there were different time limits for protection.

Check the time limits for deposits paid before 6 April 2012.

Penalties if the rules are broken

You can claim compensation from the landlord or agent if they break the rules.

In some cases your landlord cannot give you a section 21 notice unless they return your deposit or give you new written information about the deposit protection scheme.

Use the rules to negotiate

If your landlord or agent breaks these rules it could help you negotiate about tenancy problems or get your deposit back when you leave.

Use our tool to:

  1. Check your tenancy rights

  2. Get a letter template to help you negotiate with your landlord

What do you want to do?

If you want to claim compensation

You usually have 6 years to start court action from the date your deposit should have been protected by.

It's best to wait until your tenancy ends before taking legal action.

If you claim while you're still a tenant, your landlord could give you a section 21 notice after the court has ordered them to pay you compensation.

Find out how to make a tenancy deposit compensation claim.

Last updated: 25 June 2023

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