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Who is responsible for returning the deposit – landlord or agent?

Here is a question to the blog clinictenancy deposit protection from Richard who is a tenant

I recently vacated an apartment that was under an assured shorthold tenancy, the landlord instructed the letting agent to release my deposit. I waited over 2 weeks….left messages but no reply. The letting agent is now closed and appears to have ceased trading!

The DPS have no record of a deposit lodged in my name for the apartment, also I have since realised I had no confirmation from the DPS that they had receipt of my deposit.

Who is reponsible for reimbursing my unprotected deposit? Landlord or Letting Agent?

Assume I’ll have difficulty if Letting Agent has gone bust.

Any help would be appreciated.

If the letting agent has gone bust then forget about recovering anything from him. The person you need to claim from is the landlord, who is liable for the return of the money to you, even though it may have been paid to the agent and not to him, and he may never have had it.

Very tough on the landlord of course, but that it not your problem.

However the DPS is not the only scheme.  Have a ring round first to TDS and My Deposits as it could have been protected with them.

If it is not, then get in touch with the landlord and ask for payment.


If YOU have a problem, why not put it to the blog clinic?  However there are a lot of questions submitted, so if you need an answer quickly remember that members of my Landlord Law service can ask me questions in the members forum area, and will normally get an answer with 24 hours.

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One Response to Who is responsible for returning the deposit – landlord or agent?

  1. Might be a case of stable door/bolted horse but is it worth checking of agent was with safe agent?



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

The Landlord Law Blog from Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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