How to get your deposit back – a guide for students

You should now be hearing 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.

How to get your deposit back

Upon moving out…

The accommodation provider may be able to deduct money from the deposit if you break terms in the tenancy agreement. To avoid this, before you move out:

  • Clean the property thoroughly
  • Check for damage
  • Make sure all rent and bills are fully paid
  • Check you have met all other conditions in the agreement.


Your landlord should pay your deposit back within 10 days of your request for the deposit to be returned. Tenants cannot request the return of their deposit before the tenancy ends.

Your accommodation provider must tell you promptly if he/she plans to make deductions and money owed must be paid to you without delay. If there is a delay, send a request in writing. Email is fine.

Your landlord should have registered your deposit with a deposit protection scheme. If you are unable to reach agreement over the return of the deposit, you can use the scheme to try and recover money you think is owed to you.

Where is my deposit held?

There are 3 deposit protection schemes. To find out where your deposit is protected ask your landlord or read your tenancy agreement, or visit the schemes’ websites.

If you live in a Unipol house…

Unipol protects deposits with TDS, and Unipol accredited landlords can use a special Unipol/TDS protection scheme. Lots of private landlords also use TDS directly to protect deposits.

Check if your deposit is registered with TDS here.


Help! I don’t think my deposit has been protected

Contact your accommodation provider and ask for the protection information. If the deposit has not been protected you could be entitled to compensation.

Seek legal advice

Contact your Student Union Advice Centre:

Unipol Code

Complain under the Unipol Code

If your landlord is a member of the Unipol Code and you believe that your deposit has not been protected, you should contact Unipol and submit a complaint.

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