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Helpful blogs by our Law Undergraduates!

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What can a Landlord deduct from a deposit?

By Brad Askew on 05/11/2014 with comments

If you rent on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6th April 2007, your landlord must protect your deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme.


Your landlord can deduct money from your deposit for the following reasons:

  1. Breaching the terms of your contract

There are a number of ways in which it is possible to breach your contract. These can vary from not keeping the property properly secured; using the property for illegal purposes; keeping pets at the property if this is not allowed; causing annoyance, danger or disturbance to neighbouring properties; using the property for the purposes of conducting a business; or permitting any third party to have a key to the property without the landlord’s consent. 

  1. Damaging the property

Your landlord will expect you to leave the property at the end of your tenancy in the same condition as when you moved in. Included in the terms of your tenancy will be your obligations in regards to maintaining the condition of the property. This may include keeping the property clean and tidy; cleaning the inside and outside of windows; keeping rubbish in covered bins and removing such rubbish on a weekly basis; notifying your landlord of any damages; and keeping the drains and guttering clear of obstruction (subject to section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)

  1. Missing rent and/or bill payments

You might pay your landlord rent on a monthly, quarterly or even annually basis and this may include the cost of bills for the property. There will be agreed terms in your tenancy agreement stating the amount of rent to be paid, the rent payment dates and the way in which you will be paying this rent. If it comes to the end of your tenancy and you owe rent or bill payments to your landlord, he/she will have the right to deduct this from your deposit. 

Your tenancy agreement will include a comprehensive list of your obligations as a tenant in your landlord’s property. Breaching any of these terms may lead to your landlord deducting money from your deposit.

At the end of your tenancy if you and your landlord have agreed on an amount you will get back, this must be returned to you within 10 days of this agreement. If you disagree with your landlord on the amount to be returned to you and believe the reasoning to be unfair or unlawful each tenancy deposit scheme offers a free dispute service. In this circumstance, your deposit will be protected until both you and your landlord agree on an amount.


Written by Emily Venables
'Emily is a second year law student who, alongside her degree, works as a supervisor at a leading estate agent in Bristol. She has taken a keen interest in land law during her studies and aspires to become a property lawyer upon successful completion of the LPC.'