Skip to main content
Shelter Logo

What if your landlord does not protect your deposit

Your landlord or agent must protect your deposit in a scheme if you have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).

They must:

  • protect your deposit within 30 days

  • keep it protected until your tenancy ends

  • give you written information about the scheme

The 30 days runs from when you give your landlord or agent your deposit. This might be different to the tenancy start date.

Protection from section 21

Your landlord cannot give you a section 21 notice if either:

  • your deposit is not protected in a scheme

  • it was protected more than 30 days after your most recent contract started

If your landlord breaks the rules, they must return your deposit before they can give you a section 21 notice.

Getting compensation

You could get compensation from your landlord or agent if they do not protect your deposit or give you written information about the scheme.

You could get:

  • your deposit back

  • up to 3 times your deposit amount in compensation

You might need to go to court to get compensation.

You have to send a formal letter before starting court action.

How to make a tenancy deposit compensation claim.

Your landlord might pay you without going to court

Most landlords or agents do not want to go to court if they break the rules.

Your landlord might say they will give your deposit back and pay you compensation if you do not go to court. This is called a settlement.

Make sure they put their settlement offer in writing.

Letter templates to help you

Landlords might discuss and sort out other tenancy problems if you agree not to go to court.

Use our tool to:

  1. Check your tenancy rights

  2. Get a template to help you write to your landlord or agent

What do you want to do?

Last updated: 13 May 2024