Deposit and fees

Renting a new home involves costs which range from finding a deposit to paying for credit checks and drawing up the rental contract. Do your homework so you don't get caught out.

  • Can my landlord withhold my deposit?

    Handing over up to six weeks’ rent as a deposit can take a big bite out of your bank balance. So, how can you be sure to get your cash back when the tenancy ends?
  • How to get your full rental deposit back

    When you take on a new rental home, deposits required can run into thousands. Make sure you maximise your chances of getting every penny back.
  • Rental fees: what to expect

    Renting for the first time? Don't forget to factor in the cost of lettings agency fees. Here's what to expect and how much each one might cost you.
  • Q&A: Tenancy deposit schemes

    Want to know where that four (or even six) weeks’ rent you’ve paid as a deposit will be kept during your tenancy? Find out with our Q&A.

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Deposit and fees

Our guides cover everything you need to know about deposits and fees when renting, including your rights in the event of a dispute with your landlord.

What is tenancy deposit protection?

When you agree to rent a property, you are usually asked to provide up to six weeks' rent as a deposit, which you should get back at the end of your tenancy.

If your rental contract is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement then your deposit must be held in a Government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme, such as The Tenancy Deposit Scheme, The Deposit Protection Service or MyDeposits.

Separate schemes operate in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In our guide, 'Can my landlord withhold my deposit?' we explain everything you need to know about tenancy deposit protection schemes and what your rights are as a renter.

How do I get my full rental deposit back?

In some cases, your landlord may keep some of your deposit. For example:

  • There is rent still to be paid at the end of your tenancy
  • You have caused damage to the property

To improve your chances of getting your full rental deposit back, do the following:

  • Make an inventory list with the landlord when you move in and take pictures
  • Report any damage you discover upon moving in
  • Follow the rules of the tenancy agreement and take good care of the property

Read more in our guide, 'How to get your full rental deposit back' and our Q&A on Tenancy Deposit Schemes.

What rental fees do I need to pay?

Moving can be extremely expensive, especially when considering all the upfront costs, such as the:

  • Holding deposit
  • Contract/admin fee
  • Reference checks
  • Credit checks

These can add up to hundreds of pounds, so it's important to be prepared for them.

You can read more in our guide to the rental fees you might be expected to pay.

Bear in mind that the Government plans to ban lettings agency fees to tenants at some point in 2018.