Deposit return end of tenancy

Hello All,
I was living in a property for last two years. I have recently vacated the house last month. My house owner is charging me 300 pounds for not cleaning the fridge, oven and toilet sink,even though I cleaned all of them. During the inspection she never said anything to me. Then she sent me email stating that none of these are cleaned.

If she would have informed me about items which are not cleaned according her standards i would have cleaned it by myself.

Please let me know what can be done about this…


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If you dispute the fees, assuming your deposit is registered , you can raise a dispute with the deposit custodian where the deposit is registered.

Get ready to show evidence that you returned the house almost the way you met it when you moved it.

An independent person will listen to both of you and make judgement. The service is at no cost to you and won’t cost the LL a penny as well.

Hope that helps

what does the tenancy agreement say about the condition it should be returned in? What condition was it in when you moved in - the inventory will state/show this.

Also, if you do dispute it via the deposit scheme, you are likely to be well covered as schemes usually side with tenants on issues like this.

Was deposit protected and did LL give you the paperwork for this within 30 days of you paying the deposit? If not, you’ve got a great bargaining chip as you can sue for up to 3 times deposit with a no win no fee lawyer.

Hello PrinceCharles,

How do I know whether the deposit is registered. What evodence can I show, I have not taken any pictures of the property. During the end of tenency inspection, the house owner lady did not say anything, she sent email to us two weeks after the inspection about various issues.


Hi Tatemono,

Thanks for the response. I left the house in the same condition as I moved in. I have question let us say that the house is claiming 300 pounds for end of tenancy cleaning, is it possible that I will have to pay more than 300 pounds if lose the challenge involving a lwaayer. What about the fees I have to pay to the lawyer.


The landlady has to justify any deductions, so can’t just pluck a figure out of the air. Does she live in the property or is this a separate house?

@Phhh1 if the deposit is registered, you would have received email from the deposit scheme when you moved into the property. Also the LL would have given you what we call “deposit registration certificate”. This certificate is a proof that the deposit was indeed registered.

Search through your old emails from the LL and you could search your inbox using the keywords like “deposit scheme” , “certificate”, your property postcode etc

Now, assuming you were sent the email or you weren’t sent an email or you just can’t find anything in relation to the deposit protection, you can start with the following steps

  1. Be honest with yourself that the repairs the landlord charged you for, are your fault. Sometimes it’s easier to accept some fault , bite the bullet , learn from the experience and move on

  2. You are sure point 1 doesn’t not apply, I’d suggest send a message to the LL and politely but firmly tell him you dispute the charges and you are willing to challenge the fees.

  3. Ask him to send you the deposit registration certificate and that you will be lodging a dispute with the deposit scheme.

If he didn’t register your deposit, which he is required to by law, you may be able to get your full deposit back with nothing deducted. I’d suggest don’t go the lawyer route or try to sue etc, take your full deposit and walk away.

No she does not live in the property. The property was occuped by my family (4 members).

Hello PrinceCharles,

I was able to find the deposit scheme certificate. I have sent couple of email already politely asking her to reconsider her decision. But she is firm in her stance. Based on your suggestion, I will send her email that I will dispute the charges. Here comes my questions, I do not have evidence to show that I have left the house the way it was in the when I started rening the house. if she was not happy the I have not cleaned the house to her satsifcation, why she did not say antyhing about it during the inspection. she is planning to charge 300 pounds for cleaning oven and fridge etc. I do not find this reasoanble.

Is there any possibility that I will have to pay more charges then wahs she is asking me to pay after I dispute the charges. Please confirm if this is the case.

no the maximum that she can claim from the deposit will be the £300 she is trying to deduct now. Refusing to accept her deductions and asking the deposit scheme to resolve the dispute is completely free and does not involve any lawyers. The landlady will have to prove that there is a reason for the £300 fee. You don’t have to prove anything.

If you haven’t done it already, make sure you send your landlady an email saying you would like her to return the deposit. You have to do this to get the process started. Then, you should get an email from the deposit scheme asking you to agree to the deductions. You should refuse and then they will start the resolution process.

The service is free. The deposit scheme handlers act as mediator between you and the LL.

it is up to the LL to prove and justify the charges and fees. If you loose the case, the ÂŁ300 will be deducted. If you win, your full deposit will be returned. In some instances you may come to a middle ground where you pay less.

However it goes, you won’t pay more than what the LL is asking for.

Hope that helps

Landlords are advised not to raise issues during the inspection but to just make notes. This is also what an inventory clerk would do. Inspection is not an opportunity to start cleaning again.

Just dispute any amount you’re unhappy with and ask for the deposit scheme to adjudicate.

advised by whom? A couple of weeks before checkout, I always do a detailed inspection to catch anything that may lead to a deposit deduction (that’s if the T isn’t already aware because routine inspections have already highlighted them). Just wondering why would that be unadvisable?

I would class that as a pre-inspection. I carry out the final inspection on the tenants last day or more usually the day after that.

well whatever the terminology, the question stands. I can understand why a clerk wouldn’t mention anything as they are a third party, but who is advising LLs not to raise an issue during a “checkout” inspection. At checkout, I always go over the property with the inventory room by room with the T and we agree whether the condition is satisfactory and if not, why not, and what will be done about it. Never had an issue in years of doing this. Nothing should be a surprise to anyone at this point, so if anyone’s advising LLs not to raise issues at checkout, perhaps it would be better to advise LLs to flag issues that might impact the deposit during the tenancy as a preventative measure.

I was disappointed to find that a landlord can simply refuse adjudication and then the tenant has to sue. Fortunately, when I responded that I dispute their deductions and have photo evidence of before the tenancy and video evidence (timestamped) of the condition when I moved out, they then backed down and returned all disputed monies.

But, I was preparing to go the court route.

My deposit was with TDS.

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I can’t recall where I heard that advice, but it may have been in a seminar at one of the landlord shows. I think the idea is that the inspection should just be a straightforward recording of the condition and decisions made later, after reflection, what its worth challenging. There is also a concern that any conversation about an individual item can easily get into an argument or an offer to fix it which is impractical. A pre-inspection a week before may be a good idea though where the required standard is duscussed and examples given.


Thanks for all the advice how do I start this process of appealing. By the way I have sent you to house owner but no response yet.

request a return of the deposit in full from LL. They should then begin the process of releasing the deposit (which they should already have done). This will generate an email from the deposit scheme to you asking you to agree to the deductions. You respond saying that you refuse the deductions. That should trigger the dispute process to start.

Bear in mind that i’ve never done this from a tenant’s perspective, but your scheme can advise you in more detail if you contact them.

Hi All,

Thanks for your support. I have started the dispute process, now the house owner is decied to reduce the deductions. Instead of charging 800 pounds, she is planning to charge 400 pounds. This is indeed a good news but I still not happy with 400 pounds. Please suggest what I should be doing in this case.