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How to Complain If Landlord Won't Return Your Deposit

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 18 May 2018 |
 
Landlord Tenant Deposit Dispute County

When renting a property, a landlord will in most cases ask for a deposit. The law after 6 April 2007 requires that a landlord deposits into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme to stop landlords from pocketing a tenant’s money. These are the new rules for Assured Short hold Tenancies, which protect both the landlord and tenant in the case of a dispute and provides an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) to resolve such dispute.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

At the end of your tenancy, the landlord will inspect the property to see if they are happy with how you have treated it. If there is any damage, they will apply for an amount of the deposit to cover the expense of returning the property to its original state. Any leftover money will be returned to you. If however, you dispute any application from your landlord for money, you need to contact your landlord and the Scheme with which your Deposit is held.

There are three schemes under the Housing Act 2004 with which your landlord may deposit your money in. Your landlord is required to give notice of the scheme they use and their contact details within 7 days of the tenancy agreement, should you need to contact them.

If you have not received this letter, then your landlord may not have deposited your money. You must check with each of the three schemes to see if your property is registered. If not, you can make a Part 8 application to your local County Court. The Judge must order your landlord to pay back three times the amount of the deposit plus the deposit, or order that the deposit must be placed in a scheme so that the dispute can be solved.

Dispute

If you have a dispute, start by contacting your landlord to inform them of your complaints and then following it up in writing, giving them 14 days to respond. It is important to note that many landlords take photographs of their property or keep notes of inspections before you move in, which you should ask to see in the event of a dispute. That way you can analyse the state of the property ‘before’ and ‘after’. Also keep a log of events and conversations between you and your landlord in case the dispute reaches court.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

You should hopefully be able to negotiate with your landlord at this stage. If however the dispute remains unresolved, you should contact the scheme with which your deposit is held, detailing your complaints and sending them any evidence or correspondence between the landlord and yourself. At this point, the scheme’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Service will aid in negotiations and arrange a date or dates for doing so. If negotiations fail, you may wish to take action in the Small Claims Court.

Small Claims Court

If you have to take your landlord to court to try and get your deposit back, you need to apply to the Small Claims court. You can represent yourself though you may wish to seek legal advice. The court will look at the evidence of both parties and decide who they rule in favour of. The law is normally on the side of the tenant and so if your landlord has acted unfairly, you may have a good chance of success.

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[Add a Comment]
Sunny - Your Question:
HiBefore I left the room that I was renting for £650 a month my landlord promised he will give within a week. I said ok as I trusted him, 1 week went then when I call he said he don’t have yet once he finds someone for room he will give, 1 month gone he finally found someone. Now he keeps giving excuses , I’m really fed up and don’t know what to do. It’s been 4 months now

Our Response:
If the information in the article hasn't answered your question, please see more via the link here.
ComplaintExpert - 18-May-18 @ 12:41 PM
Hi Before I left the room that I was renting for £650 a month my landlord promised he will give within a week ... I said ok as I trusted him,1 week went then when I call he said he don’t have yet once he finds someone for room he will give, 1 month gone he finally found someone. Now he keeps giving excuses , I’m really fed up and don’t know what to do. It’s been 4 months now
Sunny - 18-May-18 @ 1:54 AM
Landlord failed to return my deposit even after we went to court and i won the case. Judge order him to pay 3 times the amount of a month rent. Now is nowhere to be seen and not replying my calls. I found another flat and want to move out . What more can i do ? Thank you
Warrior - 14-May-18 @ 2:37 PM
@Saaa - the TDS won't let the landlord take advantage.
Jes - 4-May-18 @ 2:43 PM
Hi My landlord has taken all my deposit and now is asking for more money after I raised a dispute to TDS who I. Turn with in the favour of the landlord! This landlord keeps sending me invoices of the damagesI have done to the flat which was originally done by her! She put foam to close the holes in the wall and put foil over the fan in the bathroom causing Damp in the bathroom now she is claiming that I have done that! I have some evidence which was submitted to TDS and wasn’t considered! Such ashame I reckon she is doing that because she is aware I don’t know the system here!
Saaa - 4-May-18 @ 12:05 AM
I rented a room with a month to month rental of rent for 850 with 850 security deposit . I moved in March 1st and due to money complications i notice my landlord on the 23 of march i wouldnt be able to no longer live there he said its fine and now that its the 1st of april hes telling me if he doesnt find anyone by the 5th of april he wont give me my security deposit back .April 5th passed i called him he said he found someone( note he said he didnt have my deposit to refund me because of his self renovation to his home was in progress , which im taking he used my money for) Now i keep calling him , he wont answer some of my calls he tells me if i wanna sue him to do so but im trying my best to hande it out of court .Is he allowed to keep my money when we agreed on it being month to month and when he found someone else? I have calls and textsrecored of our convos for help.
CarenArizona - 3-May-18 @ 3:52 PM
Jp - Your Question:
We moved out of the property on the agreed date. The landlord raised a few issues which we sorted out. Now he is delaying returning us the deposit and not answering his phone. It has been more than 2 weeks. What course of action is available?

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
ComplaintExpert - 3-May-18 @ 3:20 PM
We moved out of the property on the agreed date. The landlord raised a few issues which we sorted out. Now he is delaying returning us the deposit and not answering his phone. It has been more than 2 weeks. What course of action is available?
Jp - 1-May-18 @ 11:36 PM
Emma - Your Question:
I have disputed my deposit with the DPS as I do not agree with the £460.00 the letting agent have proposed.My daughter had managed to burn the carpet with a hairdryer - I informed the agents and was aware that I would be charged. They have asked me to rightly pay the £225 for compensation but was under the impression they were not going to change the carpet. As they had charged me money to have the carpets cleaned including the damaged carpet. They have then tried to charge me £165.00 on top of the £225 carpet and £70.00 carpet cleaning for extra cleaning of the property. There was a finger print on the light switch which I missed and some dust ( Areas I physically couldn't reach due to being pregnant) so fully except a small charge. Even though the house was bleached and repainted. The gentleman who they send round to complete the check out is also the chap who gets the cleaning jobs. I have complained stating this could be seen as a conflict of interest for his and their financial gain.They have not responded to my email and funnily when I call there is no one to speak to me. Can anyone advise please?

Our Response:
Where there is a disagreement, the matter will go directly to the DPS dispute resolution service for arbitration. You can see more via the gov.uk link here.
ComplaintExpert - 27-Apr-18 @ 9:26 AM
I have disputed my deposit with the DPS as I do not agree with the £460.00 the letting agent have proposed.My daughter had managed to burn the carpet with a hairdryer - I informed the agents and was aware that I would be charged. They have asked me to rightly pay the £225 for compensation but was under the impression they were not going to change the carpet. As they had charged me money to have the carpets cleaned including the damaged carpet. They have then tried to charge me £165.00 on top of the £225 carpet and £70.00 carpet cleaning for extra cleaning of the property. There was a finger print on the light switch which I missed and some dust ( Areas I physically couldn't reach due to being pregnant) so fully except a small charge. Even though the house was bleached and repainted. The gentleman who they send round to complete the check out is also the chap who gets the cleaning jobs. I have complained stating this could be seen as a conflict of interest for his and their financial gain.They have not responded to my email and funnily when I call there is no one to speak to me. Can anyone advise please?
Emma - 26-Apr-18 @ 12:47 PM
sam - Your Question:
My partner wants to move out from a flat that she rented for a 10months and now he wants to move out of the flat because the of some mul-functions at the flat now she placed a notice after complaining to the landlord for several times with no maintanace, but the landlord refuses to refund her with the deposit because they say she has not stayed the full period of the lease agreement

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based site, we can only answer UK-based complain questions. The laws will be different in South Africa, therefore you would have to get help in your own country.
ComplaintExpert - 26-Apr-18 @ 10:28 AM
My partner wants to move out from a flat that she rented for a 10months and now he wants to move out of the flat because the of some mul-functions at the flat now she placed a notice after complaining to the landlord for several times with no maintanace, but the landlord refuses to refund her with the deposit because they say she has not stayed the full period of the lease agreement
sam - 25-Apr-18 @ 2:40 PM
Johnny - Your Question:
Hi, I leaving in a house and my landlord he gave us a notice to move with 3 weeks. And I told him I will not moving until will no give me my deposit back. All good, he come the day when I need to move and I call the agency to come to check the rooms and all thinghs from the house. One of employ from agency he come to check and should give me my deposit. All good ,he give me a ceck with my deposit and I was gone. Next day I was in bank to take the money and they take it the check. But in the next day I look in my online banking and I se the check he was unpaid. And now I don’t find this agency. They have move from the addres with office. They no answer on my text and on my call. What should do now?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can see what action you can take via the link here . Complaining to the trade body your landlord is associated with, and/or to Trading Standards should help you further.
ComplaintExpert - 22-Feb-18 @ 2:41 PM
Hi, i leaving in a house and my landlord he gave us a notice to move with 3 weeks. And i told him i will not moving until will no give me my deposit back. All good, he come the day when i need to move and i call the agency to come to check the rooms and all thinghs from the house. One of employ from agency he come to check and should give me my deposit. All good ,he give me a ceck with my deposit and i was gone. Next day i was in bank to take the money and they take it the check. But in the next day i look in my online banking and i se the check he was unpaid. And now i don’t find this agency. They have move from the addres with office. They no answer on my text and on my call. What should do now?
Johnny - 20-Feb-18 @ 10:08 AM
Hi, I moved out of the property after 8 months, gave nearly 2 month notice to the landlord. Paid rent promptly and had given 2 month deposit.I lived with my 4 children. Inspite of several email the landlord nearly after 21 days replied stating he is deducting the deposit amount £1400 towards painting, carpet cleaning, oven cleaning, garden cleaning and happy to pay £200.00 only. I don't know what to do. Please advice. We cleaned the house before handing over. The carpets are not new, the wall has marks here and there but not very bad. Pls advice.
Prince - 22-Jan-18 @ 2:25 AM
I was renting a room and I left when my tenancy finished. Before I left I asked him about my deposit and he said it will be returned to me in 2weeks and 3weeks later I have reminded him and he kept sayin next day. Now he ignores my text and declines my calls so I guess he’s blocked my number what do I do?
Nana - 11-Jan-18 @ 8:38 AM
I had rented a room of a landlord for two years, i actually lived on the property with the landlord so this is where it gets confusing.I left in July of this year and she said she would get me my deposit back to me, over the past couple of months she has been saying she's busy and will get it done.Now she is not answering my calls or returning my texts messages.Am i right in thinking that because i lived in the property she does not have to protect my deposit in a tenancy agreement scheme.So its very hard for me to get this money back.Any advice would be appreciated as i feel completely done over by her.Has anyone heard of the before or know anyway in which i can get my money back.
Jaxko - 29-Nov-17 @ 9:48 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
Hi, my lease expired and I gave the landlord a letter stating I won't be renewing. Her husband painted when we moved in and not even two coates. It was not even done professionally. The windows was cracked and we could not open some window or close them because they were damaged. We washed the walls and the cupboards had slight stain marks when I moved in because of her previous tenants. She is refusing to return my deposit saying she is getting painters to re paint and getting people to clean the cupboard. She also had roach bait in the cupboard and we sprayed everyday. Now she wants to fumigate. She asked me for keys to put up curtains because someone tried to break in which was lies because I went back on Sunday and there was nothing. So I am battling to get my money back, it is not even in a truct. I had to pay it into her husbands account.

Our Response:
Your tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service if you disagree with your landlord about how much deposit should be returned. You can see more on how to complain via the gov.uk link here.
ComplaintExpert - 1-Aug-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, my lease expired and i gave the landlord a letter stating i won't be renewing. Her husband painted when we moved in and not even two coates. It was not even done professionally. The windows was cracked and we could not open some window or close them because they were damaged. We washed the walls and the cupboards had slight stain marks when i moved in because of her previous tenants. She is refusing to return my deposit saying she is getting painters to re paint and getting people to clean the cupboard. She also had roach bait in the cupboard and we sprayed everyday. Now she wants to fumigate. She asked me for keys to put up curtains because someone tried to break in which was lies because i went back on Sunday and there was nothing. So i am battling to get my money back, it is not even in a truct. I had to pay it into her husbands account.
Rachel - 31-Jul-17 @ 10:40 AM
Jade - Your Question:
I recently vacated a property after 4 years and am struggling to get my deposit back from a well know lettings agent they keep avoiding my calls and I'm getting really frustrated.My deposit wasn't protected either,any advice on what I can do?

Our Response:
Contact a tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected . As it is the law that your landlord must protect your deposit and if your landlord hasn't then you can take the matter to court. If the court finds that your landlord has avoided this, it can order the landlord to repay your both your deposit and extra costs to you. Please see gov.uk link here for TDP contact details and further advice.
ComplaintExpert - 23-Jun-17 @ 12:22 PM
I recently vacated a property after 4 years and am struggling to get my deposit back from a well know lettings agent they keep avoiding my calls and I'm getting really frustrated.My deposit wasn't protected either,any advice on what I can do?
Jade - 22-Jun-17 @ 9:04 PM
We moved out of the rented property a month ago now The landlord is making some deductions which we have agreed to. Desperate to this I am paying for a carpet cleaner to come and remove some gum from a carpet. They have it in writing that I will pay this, they have it in writing that the gum will easily come out. They have found that the boiler is leaking in that room and won't release the bond until the carpets have been cleaned. it is my understanding that they'reare under obligation to release the undisputed money to us within ten days. They have it in writing that I will pay for the carpet cleaner. I have already arranged this with the cleaner. They have it in writing that the gum will come out no hassle. They have it in writing that we are not disputing your deductions. If the floor boards need to be replaced due to a leaking water pipe we are not liable for this. We are also not liable for any damage caused to the carpet caused by this work. Are they wrong keeping the deposit or not?
Al - 7-Jun-17 @ 10:01 AM
Rach - Your Question:
Been in my property 3 years and I left last week the landlord didn't do the final inspection the estate agent did it. I gave the keys to the new tenant on my last day but I moved the week before so I could leave the property spot less which I did. The new tenant moved in on the day my tenancy was up. I had to meet her at the property to show her how cooker alarm and heating water etc worked. A week later I asked how to obtain my bond but landlord replied saying house needed 're decorating and had blue tack stains and picture hooks on walls now he won't give me my bond back and wants me to get a quote to 're decorate and he is getting a quote too. If I knew thus before I moved I would have just emultioned the rooms myself even though I don't think they need doing. What do I do now ? Can anyone give me some advice Please? Thank u

Our Response:
First of all, did you have a schedule of condition? Did the estate agent go through this with you at the time? Was the estate agent authorised to sign it off on behalf of the landlord?Did you agree with it? Also, where is your deposit held? It should be in a holding account and if you think you have been unfairly treated, you can raise a dispute the Deposit Protection Scheme. You might also wish to read the terms and conditions of this tenancy agreement, which may tell you the process of handover and how the landlord wanted the property handing back. This should answer your questions further.
ComplaintExpert - 4-May-17 @ 10:41 AM
Been in my property 3 years and I left last week the landlord didn't do the final inspection the estate agent did it. I gave the keys to the new tenant on my last day but I moved the week before so I could leave the property spot less which i did. The new tenant moved in on the day my tenancy was up. I had to meet her at the property to show her how cooker alarm and heating water etc worked.A week later I asked how to obtain my bond but landlord replied saying house needed 're decorating and had blue tack stains and picture hooks on walls now he won't give me my bond back and wants me to get a quote to 're decorate and he is getting a quote too. If i knew thus before I moved I would have just emultioned the rooms myself even though I don't think they need doing. What do i do now ? Can anyone give me some advice Please? Thank u
Rach - 3-May-17 @ 10:23 AM
Hello, this is Angel from Lagos state, Nigeria. After paying a full year rent, the landlady would neither give me peace nor stop trespassing into my rented territory. She always threatened me with refunding my rent and I finally gave it a thought. Now, she refuses to refund my rent when I met with her about it. How do I place this witch where she belong?. I need her to refund the money sooner than later. Because it seems to me like she doesn't even have the funds and really wants to make a fuss out of the issue. How do I get her to refund my rent?, I don't want to stay there anymore. Thanks a million bunch!.
Geezy - 28-Apr-17 @ 1:34 PM
26 St Philips ave, Me15 7sw,Maidstone,The landlord Orlando Clement refuse to put the money in the gouverment scheme aswell refuse to return those money.I want to complain to police because its like stealing.Can somebody tell me what i must do to prove this criminal trick,poketing my money without shame.Thank you
max - 14-Jan-17 @ 12:40 PM
My land lady gave me notice just before Christmas, she did give us two months and stated it was down to personnel circumstances, this was just a hand written note The glass shower screen had fallen off the wall and nearly broke my leg , she got it fixed and it came of again , we had the property cleaned and pay right up to December as she had requested , she has in inspected the property and is holding the deposit back for the broken bathroom tile even though it nearly broke my leg She also demanding I leave the fridge and frezzer for her , but i rented another house from her and left her the blinds that was the deal She now wants me to pay for the broken tile , she didn't serve me proper notice and she trying to hold my deposit back for her own bad workmanship
DAISY - 2-Jan-15 @ 12:22 PM
im 48 disabled woman my land ladyhas not payd my deposit backin 2 years i move to hir property 6 years ago then she move in to to 12 main stree gorebridge my husband died and afer a few mounth i turnd ill and ended up in a weel char iwas told i was havent to leave because she was turning it 9in to a office so i recive a letter telling me i was a grewat tenet thay strted taering the please apartwhen the councilegot me a flat for me so i ask hir for my deposit money iwas told she had very little money and would give to me when she got payed that was 2 years a go i phoned hirand she sent the police to my door telling me not to call hirso i didnt then all of a suding my grandaughtermy landady daughter and hir son in law asalted hir the on a high on hearon and in there both about 30 year police were in volved please can any help me im carol meek 20a newbuyers gorebbridge eh23b 4ue07749903785 thank you i have fununal fixed distonia whith disasoated distonya
kazzy - 11-Sep-12 @ 7:01 PM
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