Getting your security deposit back after moving out of a rental property can often be complex and stressful.

Many landlords find excuses to withhold deposits, which means tenants are often required to take specific steps to secure their deposit before vacating their premises.

Read on to find out which steps and tips are best to achieve that goal so you can raise your chances that your landlord will return your full deposit in full at the end of your tenancy.

Help Your Landlord Find a New Tenant

Moving to a new place is always tough, especially if your new home isn’t as big enough as your old condo.

The return of your safety deposit in full can help significantly in such matters. To increase your chances of that happening, try helping your landlord find a new tenant to take your place as soon as you move out.

This will allow your landlord to avoid any financial losses and may increase the likelihood of your landlord appreciating your efforts, thus lowering the chances for deductions from your deposit.

Make Repairs Yourself

It is usual for minor damage or general wear and tear to be present, especially if you have rented the property for at least six months. However, making small repairs and improvements yourself can significantly increase your chances of getting your full deposit back.

Here are some simple home improvements that you can do yourself:

  • Replace broken or flickering lights;
  • Repair damaged power sockets and light switches;
  • Fix wall holes with wall putty;
  • Repaint wall marks;
  • Wipe and polish furniture inventory;
  • Clean bath utensils – sinks, faucets, shower cabins, etc.;
  • Clean the drains and remove visible dirt, mildew, and marks throughout the property;
  • Degrease and scrub your hob, oven, and hot plates.

Simple property repairs will take a professional handyman anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes per task.

Although these will be minor investments, the return in value will be to ensure the tenancy deposit refund. If tenants put in the extra dash of effort, like paying extra attention to your pipes, and handling simple repairs, 90% of landlords are highly likely to appreciate the extra effort and thus lower the chances for deductions.

Clean up or Arrange an End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Team

Given enough time, you can clean the entire property yourself. However, there is a huge difference when tenancy cleanup is performed by experienced professionals and DIY tenants. Hire a Guildford tenancy cleaning team to ensure the property is cleaned to a high standard.

Talk to Your Landlord and Negotiate Politely

Communicate your plans to move out and any repairs you plan on to your landlord. Let them know that you have arranged a professional end-of-tenancy cleaning service and provide the exact date of your move-out.

This helps your landlord plan for the property’s future and increases your chances of getting your full deposit back.

Provide Your Landlord with All the Personal Information Needed for a Deposit Refund

Making repairs, arranging a professional cleaning team, providing your landlord with accurate personal information, and negotiating politely can all increase your chances of receiving your full deposit back.

When moving out of a rental, you should do everything possible to ensure you receive your security deposit.

To do so, provide contact details, forwarding address, and bank account information to your landlord if you haven’t already. That way, your landlord can reach you in case of issues, and your deposit can be returned via bank transfer.

Ensure all information you provide is accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays. Caution is essential when sharing personal information, so be careful and only provide sensitive details to your landlord or authorized agents.

Keep records of all correspondence and stay in touch with your landlord to safeguard the process while it’s moving forward.

Know Your Rights as a Tenant

There is no valid reason for your landlord to withhold your deposit when you have met your responsibilities as a tenant. If your landlord still refuses to refund your security deposit after you have fulfilled all of the end-of-tenancy requirements, contact organisations such as Shelter, the Citizens Advice Bureau, your Local Authority or an attorney for advice on how to best resolve the issue.

If your landlord is unscrupulous or refuses to refund your deposit, you should be aware of your rights as a tenant and take appropriate action. With the help of the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme and organizations like Shelter, the Citizens Advice Bureau, and your local authority, you can resolve any disputes and get the compensation you deserve.

Don’t Be Afraid to Raise a Fuss

In many cases, raising a polite but firm complaint with your landlord is enough to resolve the situation. But remember to remain calm and professional throughout the process – you wouldn’t want to give your landlord any more reasons to use as an excuse for keeping your deposit.

Using profanity or threatening language will only weaken your position and cause your landlord to become defensive and possibly vindictive.

Bring the matters to the Small Claims Court

If all else fails, you can file a claim through the Small Claims Court, for it is bound by law to defend your rights as a tenant.

However, this may not always be worth the trouble, especially if you are awarded a sum less than what you originally paid for your security deposit. Be sure to contact an attorney and explain your case before taking any legal action.

Deposit Protection Schemes

In 2007, the British Government implemented the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme due to many landlords operating fraudulent businesses. This scheme makes it mandatory for landlords to place tenancy deposits in a government-backed scheme within 30 days of receiving them.

Deposit protection schemes help with resolving disputes between tenants and landlords. If you can indisputably prove that you have met all of your end-of-tenancy responsibilities, then the landlord will have no option but to refund your deposit.

That’s why it’s vital to keep all relevant documents, including receipts and invoices from any bills, repairs or professional cleaning, to prove your case.


Getting your security deposit back after moving out of a rental property can surely be a stressful experience.

However, being informed, responsible, and taking the necessary steps can make the moving-out process seamless and a much more enjoyable experience.

That’s why taking many of the simple steps above will help ensure the entire process goes most likely in your favour.