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Leaving your accommodation: how to get your deposit back

housing keys

A blog by Miriam, Student Money Assistant

As you approach the end of your stay at your term-time Accommodation, it's important to think about collecting your tenancy deposit. This is relevant for those whose term-time accommodation is privately rented, as University-owned accommodations don't require deposits.

When you paid a deposit at the start of your tenancy your landlord should have confirmed receiving and protecting it with a government-approved deposit protection scheme. The approved schemes are:

The confirmation should have included information on how much you have paid and how to reclaim your deposit. Check the SU's housing page for more details on what information you should have received. You can check if your tenancy deposit is protected on Shelter England’s website. If you can't find a deposit record, you should contact each scheme by email to check if your deposit is held with them.

Many tenancy protection agencies like TDS & DPS let you create an account on their app/ website to manage everything related to your deposit. At the end of your tenancy, you can log on to the app and request that the deposit repayment be paid to you. If there's no reason as stated in your contract why you shouldn't get your full deposit, you should request the total amount. If your landlord agrees to the requested amount, they must return your deposit within ten days.

However, your landlord could disagree with the amount you requested and propose deducting from your deposit if they think you have damaged anything on the property or have unpaid rent. They should tell you why they disagree and how much they'll deduct. If you disagree with the deductions, you can file a dispute with the deposit scheme protecting your deposit using their Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme (ADR). Be prepared to provide proof supporting why you disagree with the charges. That's why it's essential to take photos of the property before moving in and only sign an inventory if provided with one that accurately describes the condition of the accommodation.

If you're facing a situation where you need to raise a dispute regarding the return of your deposit, you can seek help from the SU Advice Centre. For more information, visit the Government's tenancy deposit webpage.

For further money-related support, contact Student Funding Support by email (, phone (024 7615 0096), or come to the Wellbeing Reception in Senate House (10 am-3 pm Monday-Friday).