Withholding tenant's deposit

Hi fellow LL (my second post, hope it’s the right thread),

Re withholding funds from tenant deposit ?

When our tenant moved in last Nov, they specifically requested a 12 month contract, we suggested the usual 6 months agreement which would roll over thereafter but they insisted on a 12 month with a ‘break clause’.

The tenant recently moved out early (Sept) but only gave 1 month’s notice instead of the required 2 months (if break clause used). OpenRent have advised, that LL, is entitled to keep the 1 month rent from the deposit.

In 15 years of letting the property we have never had tenant disputes but feel very much inclined to withhold the money simply because of the way the tenant treated the flat. It became infested with flies. Two weeks after tenant moved in, we had to enter to fix the boiler while the tenant was away over Christmas. When we entered, we found that food had been left out and fungus/mould was growing on it. The place looked like a squat.
(We have since learned that tenant was used to having cleaners/service person back in their country).

Anyway, I digress . . .

Have any other LL here withheld funds from deposit scheme - any advice/tips please ?

Deposit is held with MyDeposits (legally recognised scheme).

Thanks in anticipation.


You’re mixing two things here. The first is that the tenant wouldn’t have been allowed to end the contract with only one month notice. The other is that they damaged the flat. What compensation you rightfully get for the first I don’t know. It really depends on what exactly your break clause said. For the second one, you’re entitled to whatever is needed to fix the issue, not more and not less.

Whatever you do, please clearly state what you’re claiming for what, this will give you better chances of the tenant disputes.

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@Bastian is correct, but if you have formally accepted the tenants notice then its likely now valid.

You dont make deductions from the notice, you propose them. If the tenant doesnt accept them, you propose arbitration by the deposit scheme.

As above, you should do a thorough property inspection and compile a list of any damages and reasonable compensation for them before submitting any claim.

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