If you cannot agree on an amount to be returned, each of the deposit protection schemes has a dispute resolution service that you can use to help you settle the matter. Each scheme will have their own procedure to follow in order to report the dispute. You are likely to need evidence to support your claims which is why it is important to retain copies, photographs, receipts etc during the tenancy.
It is important to note that the landlord/agent will need to provide invoices/receipts for any work that they have had to do as a result of you living in the property, or for any cost they have incurred as a result of rent arrears or unpaid bills. They cannot keep your deposit to cover general wear and tear issues as it is expected that over time items will age and need to be replaced.
Once you have agreed on an amount to be returned, you should get your deposit back as follows:
- Custodial scheme – both you and your landlord will need to complete a specific form. The scheme will then pay you the agreed amount within 10 days.
- Insurance-based scheme – the landlord will have kept your deposit, they should then return it to you within 10 days of you asking for it.
If you have a dispute over the amount to be returned, the undisputed amount should be returned to you and depending on the scheme either the landlord or the scheme will keep the disputed amount until such time as an agreement is reached.
If you are unsure how or where your deposit has been protected you can contact the three schemes to see if your deposit has been registered.
If your deposit has not been protected correctly you may be able to take further action through the courts and may be able to claim 1-3 times the deposit as compensation (you can find further details in the deposits section or contact the Advice Centre to speak with one of our advisers.