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Ending your tenancy

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9. Legal Measures

You may be able to take court action if your landlord refuses to return all, or part of your deposit. Court action should be a last resort.

You can use a tenancy deposit protection scheme's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service to resolve a dispute instead of going to court. You can only use this if you have an assured shorthold tenancy and your landlord used a tenancy deposit protection scheme to protect your deposit. There is no cost to you, or your landlord. Their decision is final.

The first step in taking court action is to send your landlord a formal letter called a 'letter before action'. This sets out the details of the case against your landlord, including any claim for compensation. It's worth sending a 'letter before action' even if you don't like the idea of going to court. Your landlord may offer to settle the dispute rather than face a court hearing.