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Getting your deposit back

If you have done things properly and you have an assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, by law your deposit should be protected by the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. “In the case of disputes, the scheme will hold the deposit until it’s resolved,” says Hutchinson.

“If your landlord didn’t use a scheme they can be fined up to three times the amount of the deposit.”If you are renting a room rather than a property, however, you may not be protected, so it’s about making sure you don’t give your landlord any excuse to keep any of your deposit.

“One mistake tenants often make is not paying their last month’s rent in lieu of having their deposit returned – you should do this as you can end up breaching your contract,” advises Faulkner.

“Also, issues tend to arise if you differ in your opinion of what is ‘good condition’. In the main, the best way to avoid problems is to meet with the landlord – and/or the letting agent – once you have cleared everything out and go around the property together with the inventory and agree between you what’s owed or what needs paying for on the day.” 


Your view

Sam Westenberger
Accountant, 24

“After university I was living in a sort of dodgy spot and the landlord was really bad at doing maintenance on the place. I ended up doing a lot of the work myself.”

Dan Holland
Student, 22

“My landlord is horrible at collecting rent at the right time. He just seems to pop in whenever he fancies looking for money. It’s kind of a hassle, but not too bad.”

Mark Vernon
Sales rep, 25

“I’ve actually never had a difficult landlord, but I imagine I’d just leave him angry voicemails. I’m not good at being a hard-ass, so I don’t really know how I’d deal with it.”


Your view from

Teresa Walsh: Had two years of leaking roof – grew mushrooms under the carpet – not good ones! And had drunken texts from letting agent on weekends. Took it to tenancy tribunal and after eight months got £100 compensation. 

Louise Gibney: Moved in to a room in a house the landlord lived in. Then the washing machine disappeared; the wi-fi disappeared; the furniture disappeared – my DVD player went walkabout. I moved out and he only gave me £200 of the £300 deposit back. I said he’d likely get a £1k fine for not registering with Deposit Protection Scheme. He texted me to come back for the balance. I’ve not heard from him again.



Photos: Thinkstock; Getty


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