What if your landlord deducts unfair amounts from your deposit?
If you and your landlord are unable to agree on how much money should be deducted from your deposit, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) will hold onto the money until the issue is resolved.
TDS offer a free alternative dispute resolution service. This means an independent adjudicator will look at the evidence you and your landlord provided, and they will decide the outcome.
Evidence you can gather to support a claim against your landlord might include:
- A receipt showing the Deposit amount you paid.
- Bank statements to show rental payments.
- A copy of your tenancy agreement.
- Any communications with your landlord, such as emails.
- A copy of the Inventory you made when you moved in with photographs of existing damage.
- Receipts for anything you have replaced or repaired.
What happens if your landlord fails to protect your deposit in a TDS?
If your landlord fails to protect your deposit in a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme, you can make a compensation claim against them for up to three times the amount of the Deposit paid. You usually have six years in which to make a claim.
There are other legal consequences for a landlord who fails to protect a tenant’s deposit.
Your landlord may not be able to serve you with a Section 21 notice to evict you from their property if they did not protect your deposit or they protected it after the 30-day time limit. They can still serve you with a Section 8 eviction notice, but you may be able to make a counterclaim for compensation.
When your deposit has not been protected and your landlord fails to return it, you can apply to the County Court to get your money returned.
Before starting a claim, you need to send your landlord a ‘letter before action’. Our solicitors can draft this letter for you, which usually results in a deposit being returned without the need for court action.
The Letter will request the return of the Deposit within a specific time limit and explain that court action will be taken if they do not pay or respond.