Going to the tribunal if your deposit was not protected

Your landlord must protect your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme if you rent privately.

If your deposit was not protected, you could get an order for compensation from the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber). You can apply during your tenancy or up to 3 months after your tenancy ends.

If your landlord has not returned your unprotected deposit, you can also apply to the tribunal to get it back.

It's free to apply to the tribunal, and in most cases you do not need a solicitor.

What your landlord must do

Most private landlords must protect your deposit within 30 working days of your tenancy starting. Check our guidance on when your deposit should be protected.

Your landlord must also give you the following information within 30 working days of your tenancy starting:

  • the amount of the deposit and the date they received it

  • the date the deposit was paid into the tenancy deposit scheme

  • the address of the property the deposit relates to

  • a statement that the landlord is registered with the council, or has applied to be registered

  • the name and contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme where the deposit was paid

  • the circumstances in which all or part of the deposit can be kept at the end of the tenancy

If you're not sure whether your deposit is protected, check with each scheme:

When you can get compensation at the tribunal

You can apply to the tribunal for compensation if your landlord did not:

  • protect your deposit in one of the 3 schemes

  • protect it within 30 working days of your tenancy starting

  • give you the prescribed information about your deposit

You can still apply for compensation even if your landlord returned your deposit at the end of your tenancy.

How much compensation you can get

The tribunal can order your landlord to pay you up to 3 times the amount of the deposit you paid.

If you apply during your tenancy, the tribunal can also order your landlord to protect your deposit.

The tribunal must award you some compensation if the law was broken. When deciding how much you should get, the tribunal will consider things like:

  • how long your deposit was unprotected

  • the actions your landlord took to fix the problem

  • whether your landlord has a lot of properties to rent

  • whether your landlord has failed to protect other tenants' deposits before

Applying for compensation

You can apply during your tenancy or up to 3 months after it ends.

It's your landlord's duty to protect your deposit. Make sure it's their name and address on the application form, even if you rent from a letting agent.

If you do not know your landlord’s details, check the Scottish Landlord Register. If you rent from a letting agency, they must give you your landlord’s name and address within 21 days if you ask for it in writing.

In your application, include:

  • a copy of your tenancy agreement

  • the amount you think the tribunal should order the landlord to pay you and why

  • proof that you paid a deposit, such as a bank statement or receipt from the landlord

  • written confirmation from each of the 3 schemes that your deposit is not protected with them

If you apply after you've moved out, give the tribunal evidence showing that your tenancy has ended. This can be a copy of the notice either you or your landlord used to end the tenancy.

Applying to get your deposit back

If your landlord did not return your unprotected deposit when you moved out, you can apply to the tribunal to get it back.

Download Form F and the Notes on Completing Form F on the tribunal website.

In section 5a, write:

In your application, include things like:

  • proof of paying the deposit, like a bank statement or a receipt

  • a copy of your tenancy agreement

  • copies of letters, emails and texts you and your landlord have sent each other about the deposit

  • evidence of the condition you left the property in, such as photos

  • the reasons why you should be paid the deposit back in full

Where to send your application

You can send your form and evidence by email or post.

Email: HPCAdmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk

Post: Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT

If you have access needs

Download the inclusive provision questionnaire to tell the tribunal about your needs. For example, if you need an induction loop or an interpreter.

If you’re making both applications

Send a separate email or letter for each application, even if they relate to the same problem.

Provide a new copy of the evidence with each application.

After you’ve applied

We have guidance on what happens after you apply to the tribunal.

Last updated: 13 June 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

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