Will I get my deposit back?

AFS Team·18 May 2023·5 min read
Will I get my deposit back?


Way back when you started your tenancy, you will have been asked to pay a deposit. The deposit exists for a number of reasons, such as protection for the landlord against any damage or unpaid rent during your tenancy.

The good news is that once your tenancy ends, this should be given back to you. However, be aware that you will only get it all back if you have met the conditions of your tenancy agreement!.

Protecting your deposit

Your landlord is required by law to protect your deposit in a government-approved scheme. These include the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). These schemes mean that your deposit is protected during your tenancy and there is an official structure in place to make sure you get it back - as long as you don't do anything wrong!

Meeting the conditions of your tenancy

If everything is all fine and there are no big issues, then you will get your full deposit back. Meeting the conditions of your tenancy agreement includes; :

  • Paying your rent on time and the right amount
  • Leaving the property in a clean and tidy condition
  • Not causing any damage.

Paying your rent

While it is important to make rent payments on time, late rent payments do not mean a deduction from your deposit is allowed. However, any rent not paid could be deducted.

If you are sharing with others, on a group tenancy then it’s a smart move to make sure your housemates are doing the same - as in these contracts you are jointly liable for the rent and any shortfall.


At minimum, the property should be left nice and tidy, and look the same as when you first moved in. This may require a big clean before the end of the tenancy, but it is important that it is done. Be aware that sometimes you may even be required to have the place professionally cleaned before you move out!


The general rule is that your property manager should not charge you for ‘fair wear and tear’. This is something that occurs just by living in the property. Damages are when something in the property is broken.

A good example is a carpet. A carpet will be become worn over time with people simply walking on it. This is ‘fair wear and tear’. However, if the carpet has a cigarette burn, this is damage and will be deducted from your deposit.

This is why it is very important to be clear about the state of the property when you move in and why an inventory is essential.


The only way you would not receive all of your precious money back is if you have breached any of the conditions of your tenancy agreement. If this has occurred then your landlord may be entitled to deduct money from your deposit to cover any costs.

For example, if you have caused damage beyond normal wear and tear, your landlord may deduct the cost of repairs from your deposit. If you have not paid all of your rent, your landlord may be able to take this amount from your deposit.


You should be made aware of the amount that is being deducted from your tenancy deposit and for what reason. This should be provided in writing, through an itemised list of deductions and evidence of the costs.

You can dispute both the reason and the amount and you should do this in writing. If after doing this you should then escalate the dispute to the tenancy deposit scheme. They will then hold the deposit until the dispute is resolved.

If you have done everything correctly you should be able to relax and get every penny of your deposit back.

However, if you do break any rules in your tenancy agreement, do be aware that your landlord is allowed to deduct money from your deposit to cover any costs.

To help ensure that the sum does come back to you in full, make sure to keep your property clean and tidy, pay your rent on time, and report any damage or issues to your landlord promptly to ensure that you receive your full deposit back.

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