Discounts from Deposit

Hello all, i need some advice.

We are in the process of getting back the deposit from our landlord as our tenancy finished on 31st December, he wants to make the following discounts from the full amount:

  1. Discount from a repair of an scratch originated in the bath tub during our deep clean of the flat just before leaving.
  2. Discount from a fee from Openrent over a change of conditions of the original contract after the first year.

Please can you let me know if he is allow to do it and if he is right? Does he not need to cover any of this cases, hence not remove that amount from our deposit?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Carlos, happy to answer your questions here! Just want to make clear that OpenRent will have nothing to do with the deposit return. We transfer the deposit account to the landlord at the beginning of the tenancy.

  1. If you have damaged something, then the landlord can deduct money from the deposit in order to repair or replace it. It has to be a proportional amount (i.e. the cost for scratching a bath would not equal the price of a new bath). And if the deterioration in the items condition was a result of normal wear and tear, then they can’t deduct for this. You might argue that the scratch was wear and tear. You especially might argue this if:
    a. the landlord required a profession a deep clean
    b. you hired professional cleaners and they caused the scratch

  2. I’m not sure what this is. Could you rephrase it? OpenRent does not charge landlords or tenants any money for changing contracts. Charging money for making a change to a contract is still permitted under the Tenant Fees Act, but the fee should be specified in the tenancy agreement. Our standard agreement does not include a term describing such a fee. Give me some more info and I will be able to help further.

In any case, if your landlord is determined to make these deductions, then you will need to solve the dispute via the deposit scheme.


Hello Sam,

First thank you for your quick response and helpful information.

From the bath tub scratch, is a damage we created during the cleaning and needs to be fixed by plumbers, will we need to cover the full amount that the plumbers estimate, can we dispute any of it for the landlord to be covered.

For the Contract change, the landlord is showing us pictures of a innvoice of £49 from Openrent from the renew contract, we asked for the due date of the rent to be changed and he is saying because of this request we need to pay the £49. Is that right?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Carlos,

This is quite a confusing picture to grapple with. There some details that matter but which I don’t know. If you wanted, for example, to change the due date of the rent, then you could have done this by written agreement. There would have been no need to create a new agreement. So it would be weird if a payment was made to this end.

In any case, it is part of OpenRent’s terms, which you and your landlord will have agreed to by using OpenRent, that tenants will not be charged any fees. So if the landlord wants to charge you a fee for, e.g. changing the due date, then that would not be allowed according to our terms. OpenRent has never allow landlords to charge tenants fees for creating a tenancy.

In addition to this, the Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1st June 2019, so if your latest tenancy began on or after 1st June 2019, then the fee would now be prohibited by the Tenant Fees Act.

In any case, the person to persuade on this is the your landlord, and if they are not persuadable, then you can choose to use the deposit scheme Alternative Dispute Resolustion (ADR) service to settle the issue.

I hope this helps.

Hi Sam,

What about if the change was made on the 08/2018? Change was made from 25th to 1sr on August 2018, and looks like Openrent charged the landlord for the re-listing, contract signing, holding deposit, etc this £49 that he now wants to reduce from the deposit. Can we dispute this?

Hi Carlos, it sounds like the landlord is trying to charge you fees related to setting up the tenancy. OpenRent’s terms clearly say that the tenant will not be charged any fees. You and the landlord both agreed to these terms by using OpenRent.

The deposit return is a matter for you and the landlord to settle. OpenRent has no role in deposit returns.

If I were in your situation, I would dispute the deduction on the grounds that you both agreed to OpenRent’s terms by using OpenRent to create the tenancy.

You can say this to the landlord. They will either agree (problem solved) or disagree. If they disagree then you can initiate a repayment of the deposit by signing into the deposit scheme website and initiating a repayment. The landlord may disagree with the repayment and propose the deduction via the website. At this point you can escalate to ADR. You could then submit the OpenRent terms of use as evidence in the dispute.

I hope that makes everything clear.

Hi Sam, thank you for your help.

One last thing,when we left the flat there was no inspection or validation of it and now there is a new tenant. What can we do in case the landlord is coming with any other new issue?

It really depends on a huge number of things. There’s no one generic answer I could give that is useful. You’d have to come back a post when/if anything specific happened — please do so if you need to in future!