If you are unhappy with your landlord attempting to make deductions from your deposit, you are well within your right to ask the reason for the deduction, and where the cost came from.
General wear and tear are a given in any property and your landlord should take into consideration the length of your tenancy among other things. Paintwork chipping away over several years in a house with children is likely not grounds for charging you the cost of repainting, for example.
If, however, you have accidentally broken a dining chair, your landlord may want to charge the cost of acquiring a replacement.
Should you feel the price quoted by your landlord seems a little high or suspicious, you can ask to know how they arrived at their quote. You may even be able to find a replacement yourself for less.
If you and your landlord still cannot come to an agreement on the amount you are due, then you should contact the tenancy deposit scheme provider where your deposit is protected. Your landlord was required to provide this information within 30 days of receiving your deposit at the start of your tenancy. Failure to do so could mean you’re entitled to significant compensation.
All three deposit protection providers have a free and impartial ‘alternative dispute resolution’ (ADR) service designed to mediate between tenants and landlords without the need to take the matter to court.
If you or your landlord refuse the ADR service, you can take the matter to court instead. However, you cannot dispute the results of the ADR service once it has been given.
I don’t know where my deposit is being protected
The vast majority of private tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). Under an AST, landlords must – by law – protect the tenant’s deposit using one of three licenced services, and they must do so within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
Your landlord should have provided you with reference details for your deposit, but you can also check with each of the deposit protection schemes manually using their account finder services.
If your landlord failed to protect your deposit within 30 days, you likely have grounds for a tenancy deposit claim where your landlord may be liable for 3x the value of your deposit in compensation. You can read more about these claims in our simple tenancy deposit claim guide.