Security deposits

Most private landlords ask new tenants to pay a security deposit (sometimes called a bond).

A security deposit is different to a holding deposit. A holding deposit is paid to a landlord or letting agent to ‘hold’ a property  while they carry out checks and references. For information about holding deposits see here.

The pages below will help you find out what a security deposit covers, how to make sure you get it back and where to get help if you can’t.

We have also produced a fact sheet on Paying a security deposit which explains the basic rules.

What security deposits cover

Most landlords ask new tenants to pay a month’s security deposit as security in case you damage the property or don’t pay the rent.

What if I do not have money for a security deposit?

If you don’t have money for a security deposit there may be a bond scheme or rent guarantee scheme in your area that can help you.

Security deposit protection schemes

Landlords must protect security deposits taken for any standard occupation contract in a government-approved scheme (often called a ‘tenancy deposit protection scheme’).

Return of unprotected security deposits

Not all security deposits have to be put into a protection scheme. If your security deposit falls outside the protection of a scheme, you might still be able to take action to get it returned.

Considering court action

Court action to resolve disputes about security deposits should only happen as a last resort. Find out when and how you should consider court action.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: May 18, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.