The deposit

Article reviewed: 2013/01/25 | Next review due: 2014/08/13

A deposit is an amount that you give the landlord to cover any damage or unpaid rent when the lease expires. Damage is defined as any damage to the furniture or property that was not noted on the inventory when the tenancy commenced.

What happend to the deposit during tenancy?

For all rental agreements made after April 6th, 2007, a deposit must be stored in a government controlled scheme to guarantee the funds. If at the end of the contract, your landlord wants to retain a portion of the sum for damage repair, he cannot do so without your consent. If you refuse, you can plead your case with the deposit scheme litigators. In case of dispute regarding the return of your deposit, contact the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Deposit returns at the end of the tenancy

If the deposit amount to be returned has been agreed, the landlord must provide you with your sum within 10 days.

In case of disputes or for more information, go to citizens advice bureau.

To stop the landlord keeping hold of the deposit, make sure the inventory carried out is thorough. Whether the lettings agency, the owner or the tenant does the inventory, make sure you take your time to check through it. Note down any stains, mould, leaks etc. and indicate as such on the inventory.

If there is damage to the property that was not written on the inventory, the landlord can take some or all of the deposit to pay for repairs. This happened to Arnaud, 32, during his last move,

At the end of my lease, the landlord kept £600 from my deposit saying that there was mould on the bottom of the curtains. It was already there when I moved in, but I wasn’t paying attention to the detail on the inventory – when I re-read it, the inventory said the apartment was immaculate when I took it, which wasn’t the case.

Tooltip information:

  • Tenant: A person or group that rents and occupies land, a house, an office, or the like, from another for a period of time; lessee


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