A deposit gives the landlord security in case you cause damage to the property or don't pay rent. The deposit belongs to you and you should get it back when you move out if there is no damage or rent owed.

New for 2019: Deposit capped at 6 weeks rent

If you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord is responsible for putting your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving it.

Your landlord must notify you of the following no later than 30 days after they have received the deposit:

  • How the deposit is protected;
  • The name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme and its dispute resolution service'
  • Their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details;
  • The name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit;
  • Why they would keep some or all of the deposit;
  • How to apply to get the deposit back;
  • What to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy;
  • What to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit.

Your deposit should be registered with one of the following:

These schemes make sure you’ll get your deposit back if you:

  • Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
  • Have not damaged the property
  • Paid your rent and bills

At the end of your tenancy, your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back.

If you are asked to pay money to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed, this is called a holding deposit. Landlords do not have to protect this money until a contract has been signed and the holding deposit becomes your rental deposit.

How can the SU help? 

If you find yourself in a dispute with your landlord, then you should seek advice from us. We will be able to outline your rights, and in some cases mediate on your behalf.