DPS advice, how long can landlord withhold deposit

Okay so we cleaned up the house and moved out, inspection from the letting agent was yesterday morning, she called us afterwards to say everything was wonderful and they will contact the landlord to request release of deposit from scheme.

I know it will be hard for them to fund two mortgages because the neighbour is good friends with them and told us, but we were having several viewings from agents and prospective buyers every couple of days and it hanging over us that one could just say yes and we would have to vacate at the drop of a hat was so stressful, it didn’t feel like our home anymore.

So my question is, if the landlords have bad feeling about us getting out of dodge so quickly, how long can they realistically drag this out?

You haven’t specified the circumstances. Had you served notice? If so when did it expire? What about landlord notice? What makes you think you would have had to leave at a moments notice?

Sorry my apologies.

Was supposed to be a long term let, but in month 11 (late Oct 21) agents contacted us to say it would be going on the market with immediate effect to fund an extention on landlords new house. They would have had to give us 2 months notice as per our contract and we would have to give 1 month if we wished to leave. The agent came took pics and measurements and the sign went up. We had multiple viewings with no interest so buyer reduced price by 10k, more viewings so we decided to give our notice on Nov 10th, to be out Dec 10th. We moved out on the 7th and returned keys on the 9th after carpets had been cleaned etc.

Rather than have strangers in our home all over Christmas it seemed like the best thing to do.

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OK, that’s a bit clearer. Firstly, you would not have had to leave at a moments notice, but I do understand that you may not want the hassle.

By default a tenants notice is a minimum of one month expiring at the end of a tenancy period, (usually the day before rent day). This means that in practice it’s between 1 and 2 months. It’s possible to over-ride that by having a bare 1 month in the tenancy agreement, or by the landlord/agent just accepting the shorter notice. Do either of those cases apply? If not then your notice would be invalid. You may need to check asap with the agent whether your notice was accepted.

With regard to the deposit, they can request deductions for unpaid rent, for any damage or for cleaning if this wasn’t done to the agreed standard. It can sometimes take a while to inspect and calculate this. The deposit scheme sets deadlines for when the deposit should be returned, but these are not legally binding.

Basically, if your notice was valid/accepted, then keep chasing.

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Yes agency replied straight away to confirm the dates, and remind us of pet clause to have carpets cleaned professionally which was done. Agency inspected yesterday morning and said house was “wonderful”!but they had to ask the landlord for permission to release deposit.

We’ve done everything contractual and were so open for all their viewings i just hope they release it soon, money would really help for Christmas, not bought one present for the kids yet :pensive:

Sounds promising. Good luck.

Thank you David x

Back to my original question if anyone can help please, how long can the landlord drag this out if he chooses to through DPS? Google tells me 14 or 10 days, its quite confusing

There is no specific limit. If it goes on for more than a few weeks, you should complain to the deposit scheme.


Ah okay thank you David :+1:

The landlord has to raise an objection within 10 days, otherwise the deposit must be returned:

At the end of your tenancy

Your landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back.

If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.


This is just Government guidance and there is not really a penalty for exceeding it.

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Interesting. In which case they really should say ‘should’ not ‘must’. Thanks for the clarification.

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Thank you. Spoken with the landlord, he gave the letting agent permission on the same day (Friday) to release funds.

Called letting agent and they said they would chase it up with their accounts department, i just thought they had to say yes to dps and it would be transferred in a few days. Not sure why letting agent is dragging their heels tbh

It’s a simple process, takes seconds to do. It’s interesting the landlord was inter-mated as delaying when in fact it was the agent! Your landlord played ball with the agreement. I would be on to the agent hourly if the transfer was not done by the end of the day.

Yeah the letting agent told us for days they couldn’t get permission from the landlord but as soon as that came through, it would be authorised.

So i rang yesterday and let them know id spoken to the landlord and they had confirmed the authorisation was given on Friday.

They said accounts were dealing with it and it would take 5 days, as i got off the phone the email came through that tenancy was complete and payment had been processed… :sweat_smile: They obviously just needed a kick up the rear

I do appreciate all the advice from this forum. 9 days left to pull Christmas together :woozy_face: anyone wanna help me with that, i dont know what to buy anyone :laughing::laughing:

This money is held so it is no hardship for them to realise it as they dont have access to the money anyway. They have up to 2 weeks to realise the money but they can do this within a few minutes. It is a really simple process to click realise money.