Earlier this year we revealed that private tenants are losing as much as £40 million a year due to withheld deposits, many of which are withheld unfairly.

In our survey, we asked respondents to give the reasons why their deposit was withheld and some of the responses were interesting, unusual, absolutely ridiculous.

Here’s a selection of the best from our poll plus some we saw on social media that we just couldn’t leave out.

“Someone blocked the toilet after you moved out.”





“It was definitely clear when we left. If it was blocked, it must have been someone from the lettings agency that did it. However, it was £75 from a £1,000 deposit, so I didn’t bother challenging the landlord.”

“You didn’t give sufficient notice before a hurricane flooded your apartment.”




“Someone tried to break in before you lived here.”


window pane


“The house had been broken into before we moved in. We gave up reporting the damage to the window that was caused, even though it prevented us from fully opening it. When we moved out, the landlord tried to blame us for the same damage.”


“There’s detergent residue in the detergent tray.”


washing machine


“I hired a professional cleaning company because I didn’t have time to deep clean the apartment myself. The letting agency still deducted £35 from my deposit because there was detergent residue inside the detergent tray.”


“Despite the murder that occurred in the property, you didn’t provide sufficient notice.”



“I never had it, it’s not my problem.”


Image credit - Giphy

Image credit – Giphy


“The flat we lived in was sold while we were living in it. The new owner was a buy-to-let landlord and when it came for us to leave, he tried to fob us off by saying that the old landlord had got the deposit.

“We pointed out that he’d broken the law by signing an assured short hold tenancy agreement without protecting our deposit, he didn’t care. He just told us to take it up with the old landlord who’d since moved to Portugal to retire.”

“You left my furniture in the house.”


not our stuff


“We’re waiting for someone else to move in before we return your deposit.”



We’d like to point out that not all landlords are unscrupulous or dishonest – we actually work with some great landlords who really care about their tenants – but it’s always a shame to see the bad ones letting the side down.

That said, a lot of withheld deposits are due to people simply not cleaning up properly at the end of their tenancy. Many removals firms, including us now offer a professional end-of-tenancy cleaning service that can help make that deposit retrieval process a little bit simpler and make the whole removal process a little less stressful.