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Tenant Deposit Compensation Claims

By Brad Askew on 05/11/2014 with comments
Taking Your Landlord to Court: A Clear Guide to Deposit Rule Violations in England

Taking Your Landlord to Court: A Clear Guide to Deposit Rule Violations in England

Facing trouble with your deposit? Don't fret! This comprehensive guide empowers you with the knowledge and steps to tackle your landlord in court if they haven't followed the deposit rules in England.

Claiming Compensation: It's Your Right

You deserve fair treatment, and that includes proper handling of your deposit. If your landlord breached the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) rules, you might be due compensation. This applies to situations where your landlord:

  • Failed to protect your deposit within 30 days of receiving it.
  • Never protected your deposit at all.
  • Didn't provide the "prescribed information" within the required timeframe. This details your rights and the deposit scheme's terms.
  • Didn't provide the prescribed information at all.

Before Court: Negotiation and Evidence Gathering

While taking your landlord to court can be an effective recourse, consider these steps first:

  • Negotiate! Compose a letter outlining the rule violations and the potential for compensation (1-3 times your deposit!). Clearly state your desired outcome (e.g., deposit return, deposit protection) and request a response within 21 days.
  • Gather evidence. Request confirmation of non-protection or late protection from all three official TDS providers: Deposit Protection Services, My Deposits, and Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Emails are best for documentation.

Taking the Legal Route: Formalities and Steps

If negotiations fail, prepare for court action:

  • Fill out Form N208. Specify your claim as "under S213-214 of the Housing Act 2004 (non-compliance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme)." Explain your situation and justification for claiming compensation.
  • Attach a witness statement. This elaborates on your situation, including:
    • Deposit payment date.
    • Attempts to remind your landlord about deposit protection/prescribed information.
    • Landlord's refusal or inaction.
  • Submit your claim and witness statement to your local county court. Check GOV.UK for the address and relevant court fees.
  • Attend the hearing. Be prepared to answer questions and advocate for your case. Remember your claim form and witness statement.

Winning Your Case: Potential Outcomes and Next Steps

If the court rules in your favor, your landlord may be ordered to:

  • Return your deposit within 14 days.
  • Protect your deposit with a TDS scheme within 14 days.

Additionally, you can receive compensation of 1-3 times your deposit amount. The higher multiplier typically applies to complete lack of protection, while minor delays might incur lower compensation.

Non-Payment by Your Landlord? What Now?

If your landlord disregards the court's order, don't give up! Further action options are available. The GOV.UK website offers detailed information on pursuing enforcement measures.


  • Wait until your tenancy ends if possible. Taking action before can lead to your landlord protecting your deposit and potentially issuing a Section 21 notice for eviction.
  • Seek help from Citizens Advice. They offer free legal advice and guidance on filling forms and writing witness statements.

Don't let your landlord's deposit mismanagement go unaddressed. This guide equips you with the knowledge and resources to navigate the legal process and secure your rightful compensation.