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When your tenancy agreement is up and you’ve moved out of your rented home, getting your deposit back will be high on your list of priorities.
The return of your deposit can cause concern for renters, especially if you’ve had trouble with the landlord or letting agency in the past.
You’ll be looking to get your deposit back relatively unscathed, without any unnecessary or unfair charges. Find out how to help protect your deposit and avoid a headache next time you move on.
Once the amount has been agreed between you and your landlord, your deposit has to be returned within 10 days.
For most renters, your deposit must be kept in government approved tenancy deposit scheme. If you have a dispute over the amount of deductions, it will be kept here until the issue is resolved.
The scheme should help mediate the return of your deposit, so you can request its return directly from them, instead of your landlord. Requesting the return of your deposit should be in writing.
A landlord can take money from your deposit as compensation for unpaid costs. When you first signed the lease and moved in, you should have been given an inventory of everything in the property, with pictures or descriptions of any existing damage.
Landlords are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, so they cannot deduct costs from your deposit for general wear and tear.
They can make deductions from your deposit for:
You can challenge any deposit deductions that you feel are unfair.
Here’s how to challenge a deduction from your deposit:
Head over to Shelter to get free, impartial advice about landlord disputes and tenancy deposits.
As of April 2007, it is a legal requirement for landlords to put deposits into a tenancy deposit scheme.
The scheme is to protect your deposit and ensure that you can get it back when the lease has expired. When you start your tenancy, your landlord should provide you with the relevant information within 30 days.
There are instances where a deposit protection scheme is not required, including a student living in halls of residence or a lodger. Unlike a tenant, a lodger will live in the same property as the landlord.
If your deposit is not with a tenancy deposit scheme, and it should be, you could be owed compensation between 1-3 times the amount.
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