New to the forum, seeking advice re our deposit not being returned.

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    Originally posted by Jacic View Post
    As the agents hold the deposit there doesn't seem to be the option for us to request our deposit back on the DPS site, unless I'm missing something!
    What happens if you follow the "Start the deposit repayment process" link on the DPS homepage, underneath where it says "Are you a tenant who wants to request repayment of your deposit?"

    If you can't request the deposit is returned via DPS, it would suggest to me that the deposit may not have been protected properly (or the protection scheme is set up in a way that isn't fit for purpose).


      If in doubt, give DPS a call and ask how you can initiate a dispute.
      I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

      I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.


        t the end of your tenancy, you and your Landlord or Letting Agent will need to agree how your deposit will be repaid. If you reach an agreement, your Landlord or Letting Agent will pay back the agreed amount of your deposit and contact us to confirm the deposit has been repaid.

        If you can’t reach an agreement, you’ll need to notify us of your dispute. To do this, email us at If this happens, our free Dispute Resolution Service is there to help you resolve your dispute.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


          Originally posted by KTC View Post
          You make a request in writing for the return of the deposit if you haven't already. After the requisite time have elapsed, you can request arbitration through the deposit protection scheme.
          Thanks again, I checked again & there wasn't an option for us to dispute as the landlord hasn't made a request for witholding. I contacted DPS & asked the question. The reply was that we can raise a dispute, 10 days after we last asked about return of the deposit. Shame it doesn't start from the first time we asked but we live & learn. Once we raise the dispute the letting agents have to submit our deposit to DPS. It can take up to three months to sort it out, but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel now. I will update once we know what's going on in case anyone else has the same problem in the future.


            We have an update, for anyone else thinking that the 10 days to return deposit means 10 consecutive doesn't. It's 10 business days.
            ​anyway, after a 5½ year tenancy with two large dogs agreed with landlord & pet deposit paid.
            landlord wants to charge us:
            £2470.00 for redecorating
            £891.00 for cleaning
            £375.00 for gardening
            £216.57 rent arrears
            £891.00 flooring.
            This is for an average size 3 bedroom house & garden. Flooring was damaged by back door due to a poorly fitted door. We reported this & a builder was sent out to see about changing the door. It couldn't be changed as the frame was rotten & there wasn't a lintel above to support the wall once the frame was removed. Kitchen lino wasn't fitted correctly & curled under on edges under units, also reported on a property inspection. Overgrown ivy on outside wall, reported to agents & were told we had to remove it at our expense. We refused as we didn't plant it & it was an ongoing issue judging by the dead ivy above bedroom window. Redecorating after 5¹½ years with dogs, no damage just marks from where dogs have got mud on the walls. It's a rural area, an old farm cottage rented from a farmer. He knows animals cause mud, none of the wall paint was washable so it was impossible to get all the marks off without removing the paint. We cleaned two carpets & requested extra time to finish cleaning, we obviously also offered to pay for the extra rent. Apparently we should have returned the keys before the end of the tenancy! Rent arrears were in dispute already due to a huge 8% rise in rent when none of the repairs we had reported had been carried out. Letting agents gave us the wrong moving out date & are charging us three extra days as well.
            The oil boiler was never serviced in the time we were there despite us enquiring yearly.
            I know we're going to have a fight on our hands!!!


              I don't think you're going to have much of a struggle.

              Use the deposit protection company's adjudication system if you can't come to some kind of agreement.

              If the landlord increased the rent in the proper process (a mechanism in the tenancy agreement, a new tenancy agreement with the new rent or a section 13 notice in a periodic tenancy) there's no dispute possible. If not, and you didn't agree it, there's no claim possible. It's also possible that the adjudication won't make a decision on the rent arrears - it's quite a complex subject.

              If you gave notice, you were responsible for moving out on the agreed date, there's no flexibility there.

              The landlord should adjust what they're claiming to allow for the use they had from what they claim needs to be adjusted, they can's simply charge for a complete redecoration (even if that's what they're paying for). The claim should reflect the x years of use they had from the "damaged" paintwork already. If they hadn't decorated during the lease, you might argue that the place would have needed decoration by now.

              Getting compensation for gardening work is also difficult. One persons complete mess is another person's wild garden.

              Simply confirm what you would be happy to pay (if anything), explain your problem(s) with what's been proposed and let the landlord try and justify their claim.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                Thank you, I'm just going through all our emails to support our claim. We will agree to pay a fair amount towards cleaning & garden, we just need to establish what we think is fair ie the amount of time we know it took to do the garden against the amount of time he is claiming it took. I know he didn't bring in someone to do the work on the garden as I was there when the work was being done. I also agree that the person he had to do the work was paid an hourly rate just not £15 per hour. I have emails regarding some of the things he is trying to charge us for, unfortunately most of the complaints were via either phone call or during routine property inspection. If there's anything I can recommend to anyone, don't rely on agents being honest. If you have to complain about anything, if it's done via phone call or during routine property inspection back it up with an email. We stupidly didn't do this & may have to pay the price for our naivety. Always, always, always create a paper trail! Letting agents work for the landlord & aren't averse to telling lies when it suits. I'm not tarring every landlord/agent with the same brush before anyone takes offence. There's good & bad everywhere. We personally have been accidental landlords & treated our tenant fairly despite the fact he broke his tenancy agreement many times over.


                  Apart from rent owed, the landlord can make claims for anything that is included in the tenancy agreement (sometimes that includes cleaning or some other item) and compensation for a loss that's outside normal wear and tear.

                  If the garden had gone to ruin, that could be the cost of putting it back to how it was when you moved in (less fair wear and tear) or compensation for the loss in value of the property as a result.

                  Two points to note, the landlord doesn't actually have to fix the issue, so they don't actually have to get the garden done, and they're obliged to keep the claim to a minimum (to mitigate their loss). So if they did get work done, and the cost was "x", they can't claim for more than "x" - they can't add some profit.

                  For things like decorating, they have two options again. They can claim for compensation for a loss in the value of the original decoration - it should have lasted six years and it only lasted 5, so you lost them a year's life, which means they could claim 1/6th of the original cost of the decoration. The ages and numbers might change, but that's the principle.

                  Alternatively, they can make some repairs to the paintwork and base their claim on that basis. But the claim there is capped at the maximum arrived at above, because they have to mitigate the loss, so there's not much point.

                  It's true to say that many landlords, agents and tenants won't understand or accept this - but have a look at the DPS web site for some examples of how things are determined at arbitration. It's under case studies - see if you can spot which worked example is wrong for a fun game.

                  I don't think your examples of things that weren't done will make any difference at this point - you can't counter claim in this process.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


                    Thanks for the reply JPKeates, I didn't think that we could claim for things that weren't done during our tenancy, sorry if there was any confusion! I am counterclaiming against things we reported that needed attention & weren't rectified that he is charging us for. We already had a list of things he promised & didn't deliver, we accepted the tenancy so that's our loss. We live & learn! I would love a job that entails helping tenants with rogue landlords.


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