11 Sep 18

How to get all your security deposit back

Earlier on in our blogging journey, we wrote a quick rundown of all the essential information regarding security deposits. However, since your deposit is likely to be equal to 6 weeks rent and have quite a few 0’s we wanted to do an in-depth run-down to learn how to get your security deposit back 💰🔙😀

If you haven’t yet read that first article, do it now! It has a lot of crucial information about what a security deposit is, what it is for, and why it is kept in a tenancy deposit scheme

So, if you’re still reading, I can assume I don’t need to tell you that a security deposit is simply money held by the landlord to protect themselves against any breakages of the tenancy agreement, right? 🤓

A gif of Doctor Evil saying 'Right...' | homie.rent

As your tenancy agreement usually involves returning the property in the condition in which you received it, the very first things you can do to get your security deposit back is to make sure:

💡 Everything is in full working order. This includes light bulbs, cupboard doors or whatever else your tenancy agreement mentions

✨ Things are clean. If you have no time, it works out cheaper to employ your own cleaner than to get charged by the landlord for theirs!

♻️ Remove all rubbish. Don’t be that guy that gets charged for forgetting to take out the bin when you leave!

When it comes to checking out of your flat, it is incredibly important to go through your original inventory and make sure that everything is as it should be, this will aid your cause to get your security deposit back 👍

A young woman spins on her chair as she is showered by money in a London apartment

Challenging Deductions:

If your landlord withholds some of your deposit, there are some actions you can take to challenge this. Here are your main options.


Write to your landlord

Your first port of call is to write to your landlord; although, be aware that if the estate agency manages your property, then you may need to write to them. In the letter, you should explain why you believe they shouldn’t be withholding your deposit and ask them to return it. Remember, this should be a formal letter, keep the language polite and serious 🤓✉️

If after this, you do not get your security deposit back within 10 days you can contact your tenancy deposit protection scheme; you should have been given the details at the start of your contract. They will usually hold the disputed amount until you reach a resolution💰

Bonus Tip: Your tenancy deposit scheme should have a dispute resolution service, and this should be free! A decision reached through this service is legally binding, however, because of this, both you and your landlord need to agree to use the service 🤝 ⚖️


Think about court action

Before we get too into this, court action is a last resort; nobody really wins, especially for the amount your deposit is likely to be. Try our inside tip above, but if the landlord refuses to use the service and you are adamant you deserve your money then make sure you can collect the following:

🤝 A copy of your tenancy agreement

💰 Proof of having paid your tenancy deposit

✉️ The aforementioned letters to your landlord and any responses

💷 Evidence of regular rental payments

📷 Before and after photographs of the property

📎 Any receipts for things you’ve repaired or replaced

The form you will want to fill out is the Court Form N1, and since it is a highly complex process, the government has some great advice on how to fill out the form and how to take the claim to court.

It is perfectly acceptable to settle outside of court even once you have submitted these forms. In fact, if your landlord is seen to make a fair offer and you refuse it can work against you once in court; so think about it!

A young man taps his head knowingly | homie.rent

As we said, court action is an absolute last resort; your best option is to use the service provided by your deposit protection scheme. The service should be free, legally trained and completely impartial. However, you will need to have an actual reason to make a claim; you cannot challenge on a whim and expect to get some money back 🤞❌

Follow the above tips and you stand a much better chance of enjoying the rental experience.

Next time on the Homie blog, we will be sharing which months you can expect to get the best renting deals!



John is a Marketing Executive at Homie. He is passionate about copywriting and, equipped with his skateboard wants to make renting in London a roll in the park.

John Cooper, homie.rent Marketing Executive is the author of this article.