If you moved out in July, you should now have heard back from your previous landlord about getting your deposit back or if any deductions are to be made. Here is a quick guide about the rules regarding deposits and what you can do if you are worried you aren’t being treated fairly.

If you paid a deposit for your tenancy in England or Wales it will have had to be protected in one of three government backed schemes (DPS, TDS or Mydeposits) which they should have told you about within 30 days of it being paid. Once your tenancy has ended they should return it once they have agreed any deductions with you.

What if I think my deposit isn’t protected?

If you are in any doubt or worried about this please go to your Student Union Advice Team or come and talk to Unipol. Get some support and look at your options.

Unipol and NUS have produced some guidance and detailed advice on how to enforce your rights. You can find out more here.

When should I expect my deposit back?

If there are no deductions then you should expect to receive your deposit within 10 days after the tenancy has ended.

If you haven’t heard from the landlord, first you should email them to query it. If you hear nothing, you can launch a dispute with the scheme your deposit was protected under.

Here a list of things that deposits can be deducted for:

  • Damage to the property
  • Missing items (such as keys)
  • Not properly cleaned the property
  • Fire safety equipment has been used incorrectly
  • Unpaid rent

Your landlord can’t deduct money for ‘fair wear and tear’ in your property which happens due to age and normal use, but note that this is not the same as cleanliness.

How much can my landlord deduct?

Here are some approximate example charges:

  • Descaling a toilet: £40
  • Defrosting a Fridge Freezer: £40
  • Full kitchen clean: £120
  • Cooker clean: £95
  • Fixing an iron burn on the carpet: £200-£400

Always make sure the landlord has itemised what they are deducting money for.

What to do if there are disputes?

Any formal disputes must be raised within 3 months of the tenancy ending. Each deposit protection scheme has their own dispute service, so use the one applicable to you. Here are the links to each:




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