Get deposit back in the court

Before starting a claim against landlord:

1. Write a letter to the landlord and ask to refund deposit. There are plenty of templates of letter requesting a refund from landlord or letting agent, but tenant may write your own letter based on you circumstances.

2. If the landlord deducted or withheld deposit then it worth to get writing explanation of his reason.

3. Send all letter with tracked and recorded delivery such us 1st class Royal Mail service or Special Delivery service.

sue the landlord

4. Keep the proof of paying deposit( receipt or bank statement)

5. Try do agree with landlord ADR service of your TDP provider. It is a free service and may help to resolve dispute and refund deposit.

6. If landlord refuses to use ADR scheme or mediation process was unsuccessful then tenant may apply to the court. It worth to have a writing evidence of landlord’s refusal to use alternative dispute resolution service. Anyway, unreasonable refusal of the free ADR service may be taken into account by the judge.

7. If tenant presume he has all reasonable grounds with proven evidences such us inventory check, photographs, receipt he may apply to the court.

To start claim and get back deposit in court tenant needs to know the contact details of landlord, his actual or correspondent address to serve the court documents. Tenant may request copy of Land Registry Title online. This document may be used as a proof of ownership of rental property and be enclosed together with other court claim documents.

How to start court claim against landlord?

Rules how to start claim and refund deposit via court is set in CPR Part 56. According CPR 56.2 tenant or landlord must use CPR Part 8 to start proceeding in regards of some tenancy dispute.


2.1 Subject to paragraph 2.1A, the claimant in a landlord and tenant claim must use the Part 8 procedure as modified by Part 56 and this practice direction.

That’s why form N208 must be used to issue claim.

Court form to claim deposit in court:

What must be stated in particulars of claim:

1. You are making a landlord and tenant claim­

2. The claim is for repayment (or protection) of a tenancy deposit­

3. Why you are entitled to have the deposit repaid (or protected)­

4. The claim is made under section214 Housing Act 2004­

5. In order to comply with CPR Practice Direction Part 56 2.1 the Part 8 procedure is being used

6. Statement what exactly claimant is seeking. For example:

"The claimant is  seeking the repayment of his deposit and the payment of a sum equal to three times the amount of the deposit on the basis that the defendant did not give the claimant prescribed information."

7. Statement of truth

List of evidences that must be attached to the claim form:

  • signed and dated copy of the tenancy agreement
  • the amount of paid deposit together with landlord’s receipt, cheque or bank statement
  • copy of landlord’s Land Registry Title
  • proof of paid rent, for example, bank statements if the matter related with rent arrears, repair or other financial losses
  • copies of letters or emails requesting deposit and proof of delivery where it take a place.
  • inventory check, photographs and other evidences, including witness statements

Claimant should made 3 copy of all documents: one – for the court, second – for the landlord, third – for the claimant. Usually, court serves copy of documents to the defendant.

After claim issued

As soon as claim is issued tenant will get a form N205A with a deadline by which landlord should serve his reply. Landlord has 14 days to prepare his reply using form N210 that send it together with the claim's documents, but may request to extend this time up to 28 days.

Defendant has got several options:

  • Admiting the claim and offer to settle under Part 36 CPR (offer to settle and refund deposit)
  • Disputing the claim and prepare fully defence. Tenant will get reply from the landlord and should assess all provided evidence and whether case has sufficient merits to pursue further.
  • Landlord issues counterclaim. It may happen when tenant damaged property or failed to pay a rent.
  • Fail to reply. According to the Part 8 procedure, if the defendant does not file an acknowledgement of service he may attend the court hearing of the claim but may not take part in the hearing unless the court gives him permission to do so.

What happens at the hearing?

Usually such hearings look like informal hearings and parties may not be asked to to swear an oath, but they need to sign a statement of truth as part of your claim.

By the end of the hearing usually court make the order and copy of the court order will be sent to the parties.

If the tenant win then landlord will have to refund deposit or amount awarded by the court. In case of landlord fails to pay, tenant may apply for enforcement order and ask bailiff to recover the debt by additional fee.

If tenant lose then he likely to pay solicitor’s cost (in case of claim has continued under the Part 8 procedure). If the claim was allocated at small claim track then solicitor’s fee is not recovered.

Defeated party has right to ask the court give permission to appeal in case of presence reasonable grounds for appeal.

Court fee to claim deposit in court

Value of claim

Court fees to issue claim

Up to £300


£300.01 to £500


£500.01 to £1,000


£1,000.01 to £1,500


£1,500.01 to £3,000


£3,000.01 to £5,000


£5,000.01 to £10,000


Value of claim

Hearing Fees

Up to £300


£300.01 to £500


£500.01 to £1,000


£1,000.01 to £1,500


£1,500.01 to £3,000


more than £3,000.00


Fast track claim


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