What Does the Law Say About Tenant's Deposit Rights?
If you are renting a home or planning to start your search for a new residence to rent, you could have a lot of questions. It’s important to know your rights so unscrupulous landlords won’t be able to take advantage of you.
While many landlords are honest people who want to help you as well as uphold their end of a business transaction, the fact remains that there are dishonest landlords who wouldn't mind unfairly keeping your deposit. For that reason alone, you should have a basic understanding of tenant deposit rights.
DoNotPay has everything you need to know about your tenant deposit rights. If you feel that you are being taken off by your landlord, or simply want to better educate yourself about how you can protect your investment, this guide will help.
Your Basic Rights as a Tenant
- The right to live in a property that is safe and not in a state of disrepair.
- The right to know who your landlord is.
- The right to challenge excessively high charges.
- The right to live in your rental property is undisturbed.
- The right to be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent.
Depending on the specific property you live in, other rules could apply. However, all tenancy agreements should be fair–and you should be apprised of your rental agreement when you are preparing to sign a lease at your new place of residence.
What Are Your Deposit Rights?
When you sign the lease for a new house or flat, you will generally be required to put down a deposit. The deposit secures your place in the rental and helps the landlord cover the cost of any potential damages after your lease ends. You are eligible to get your deposit back at the end of your rental agreement as long as you comply with the rules of your tenancy agreement.
Here are some other important deposit rights to know about:
- As long as you don't damage the property, you should get your deposit back.
- You must pay your rent and any applicable bills to be eligible to get your deposit back.
- Generally, your landlord is required to give you your deposit back within 10 days of you agreeing on how much you'll receive back.
If you have met all the required conditions to get your deposit back but your landlord is refusing to give you the deposit, you have options. According to the official UK Government website, a landlord is required to protect your deposit and could face legal repercussions if they refuse to pay you.
There’s a deadline that your landlord needs to follow. They must protect your deposit depending on when you paid your deposit. Check this table as a guide.
|Deposit Paid Before 6 April 2007|
|Situation||The deposit needed to be protected by|
|The first term ended - 6 April 2007
The policy was never renewed
|23 June 2015|
|First renew of tenancy is on or after 6 April 2007 and before the 6 April 2012||6 May 2012|
|First renewed of tenancy on or after 6 April 2012||The first 30 days after the tenancy was first renewed.|
|Deposit Paid After 6 April 2007|
|Before 6 April 2012||6 May 2012|
|On or after 6 April 2012||30 days after the deposit was paid|
How to Talk to Your Landlord About Your Deposit Rights on Your Own
It can be uncomfortable to have difficult conversations with your landlord, especially if the landlord is already being difficult. However, if you want to get your deposit back and want to attempt it on your own, here's what you can try:
- Be open and honest with your landlord. It's possible that there was a misunderstanding. Generally, your landlord will be open to working with you to solve any disputes.
- Explain why you believe you are owed your deposit. If your rent history is good and if you've been a good tenant, bring up those points.
- Only resort to bringing up possible legal repercussions if needed. If the conversation suddenly takes a turn for the worse, if your landlord becomes irritable or angry, it's best to walk away and let someone else handle the issue.
DoNotPay Can Help You Defend Your Rights
DoNotPay has the expertise you need to protect your tenant deposit rights. If you want to make sure your deposit is protected but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent. With DoNotPay's help, you don't have to have uncomfortable conversations with your landlord.
What Else Can DoNotPay Help You With?
DoNotPay has your back. Here are some questions and concerns that DoNotPay can handle for you:
- How much can a landlord raise the rent in a year in the UK?
- How much notice does a landlord have to give a UK tenant to move out?
- When to file a tenant notice to end the tenancy in the UK
- How to kick out a roommate
- What to do if your landlord is threatening to evict you
- Where to find a template for notice to end tenancy letters
- How to get a security deposit back from the landlord