THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDLORDS
GETTING A DEPOSIT BACK
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Before you leave the property
You’ll have a better chance of getting all or most of your deposit back if you leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in.
It’s a good idea to get evidence of the condition of the property when you leave in case you and your landlord disagree on how much deposit you should get back.
If possible, you should:
take photos of the property to show how it was when you left
get a check-out inventory and ask your landlord to sign it – this could include things like the condition of carpets and walls
Money your landlord might take from your deposit
You might not get the full amount of your deposit back if, for example:
you owe rent
you’ve damaged the property – this could be something like a spill on the carpet or a mark on the wall where you’ve hung a picture
you’ve lost or broken some items from the inventory, like some cutlery or mugs
Money your landlord shouldn’t take from your deposit
Your landlord shouldn’t take money from your deposit, for example, to:
replace a worn carpet with a new one if it’s worn out gradually over timefix any damage caused by a repair they didn’t do when they should have, for example a leak you told them about that got worse and damaged the floor
decorate a whole room if there are a few scuff marks on a wall that have appeared while you’ve lived in the property
Your landlord can’t take money from your deposit for ‘reasonable wear and tear’ – this means things that would gradually get worse or need replacing over time, for example paintwork, or a piece of furniture.
If your local council paid your deposit
You probably won’t get any money back from your deposit if your local council paid it for you or guaranteed it in a bond scheme.
If your landlord takes money from your deposit for any damages or rent that’s owed, your local council will have to pay it. You’ll probably have to pay them back.
Challenge your landlord
Your landlord can’t take unreasonable amounts of money from your deposit. They should tell you why they’re taking money off – if they don’t, ask them.
It’s best to get your landlord’s reasons in writing if you can – that way you can refer back to them if you need to take action to get your deposit back.
Ask them for more information about the money they’re taking from your deposit if it’s not clear. For example, if they’ve taken money off for decorating, you can ask to see a quote from the decorator to prove how much the work cost.
If you still can’t agree with your landlord, you can take further action.
The action you take against your landlord will depend on whether your deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) – most deposits should be.
If you’re not sure if your deposit is protected, or you don’t know what scheme your money is in, find out how to check your landlord has protected your deposit.
If your deposit is protected