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a year ago - 6 minute read
Few of us can remember what we paid for things off the top of our heads. Our rent deposit is no different.
If you signed a lease for a property many, many years ago, it's normal not to remember the exact amount you paid.
When it's time to move to a new rental (and sign up for a Lifetime Deposit), you'll need to know how much money you have in your deposit account.
Hunting through your emails, bank statements and tenancy paperwork is one way to find out your contribution. But, if that thought fills you with dread (we get it!), there are other, easier ways to figure out what you paid.
Here's how to find out how much you paid towards your rental deposit.
You can easily check how much you paid towards your rent deposit online or by speaking to your letting agent.
Depending on which scheme your deposit is protected with, you can sometimes download your deposit certificate online without knowing how much you paid.
Remember, interest may have applied if you used a loan to pay for your deposit or paid in instalments. These extra payments won't be included in your deposit total. It's only the figure your landlord or letting agent asked for at the start of your tenancy that will be your deposit amount.
Here are the 4 main ways to find out how much you paid towards your rental deposit.
One of the quickest ways to find out how much you paid for your rent deposit is to check whether it's stated in your tenancy agreement.
All landlords and letting agents must communicate certain important information to you within 30 days of you paying your rent deposit.
This includes things like:
This information should be in your tenancy agreement or in a file/email your letting agent sent you after you paid your rent deposit.
If you can't find this information (or don't want to hunt through your files to find the paperwork!), you can try one of the other ways listed below to work out how much you paid towards your rent deposit.
If you know which scheme your deposit is protected with, you can enter your details online to view your deposit amount.
Depending on the scheme you're registered with, you'll usually need to know the following information to access your certificate:
Read our full guide on how to find your deposit certificate here.
Some deposit protection schemes will ask you for the deposit amount before you can proceed to download your certificate. You'll only be able to find out how much you paid for your rent deposit online if your scheme doesn't ask for this information.
Here's a list of the schemes in the UK and which ones currently ask you to enter your deposit amount before you can proceed:
If you don't know which scheme your deposit is protected with, you can ask your letting agent or enter your details on all the sites to find out.
Related article: How to check your rent deposit is protected in one simple step
Another quick way to find out how much you paid towards your rent deposit is to simply ask your letting agent for the details.
If you can't find any of your deposit details, ask your letting agent:
Having your deposit certificate is proof of how much deposit you paid. It's best to ask for a copy of this if you need evidence of your deposit amount rather than using an email from your letting agent.
If you want to apply for a Lifetime Deposit in the future, you'll need a PDF copy of your certificate available.
Related article: Pros of getting a Lifetime Deposit for renters
If you just need a general idea of how much you paid towards your rent deposit and not proof of the exact funds, you can use an online deposit calculator.
These are designed for landlords to help them calculate how much they should charge you. However, you can also use them to get a general idea of your deposit amount.
Just remember that the amount shown on the calculator may not be entirely accurate. Your landlord or letting agent may have made some adjustments.
The figure also can't be used as proof of how much deposit you paid if you need to apply for a Lifetime Deposit.
Related article: How to decide if a lifetime deposit is right for you
In the UK, a landlord or letting agent can only ask for 5-6 weeks of rent upfront as a deposit, depending on how much the annual rent costs.
It's against the law for a landlord to ask you to pay more than 5 or 6 weeks' rent as a deposit.
However, a letting agent can ask you to pay rent in advance on top of your deposit. They can also ask you to pay for a holding deposit.
Paying rent in advance is only usually required when there's an issue with your finances or references.
For example, if you have bad credit or a former landlord raised issues in your reference, a landlord may ask for between 1-2 months of rent upfront to protect themselves.
A holding deposit is money you pay to your landlord or letting agent to reserve the property. It's usually 1 weeks' rent.
You should get this money back within 7 days of signing the tenancy agreement for the property. Or you'll get it back if the landlord decides not to rent the property to you.
Related article: Tips for renters: How to get your rent deposit back in full
The amount of deposit you need to pay depends on how much the monthly rent costs for the property. In the UK, a rent deposit must only be between 5-6 weeks of rent.
If your annual rent (which is the monthly rent payment multiplied by 12) is below £50,000 a year, you will need to pay 5 weeks' rent as a deposit.
If your annual rent is above £50,000 a year, you may be asked to pay 6 weeks' rent as a deposit.
Remember, you may need to pay for some other things when you start renting a property, too.
For example, you could be asked to pay for:
Related article: What bills do I have to pay when renting?
To calculate a 5-week deposit, you'll need to take 1 months' rent payment, multiply it by 12, divide it by 52 and multiply it by 5.
Here's the formula you can use:
1 months’ rent x 12 / 52 = 1 weeks’ rent
1 weeks’ rent x 5 = 5 weeks’ rent (a 5-week deposit)
If you're about to rent a property, you shouldn't be asked to calculate the deposit amount yourself. This information should be available on the property listing or via your letting agent.
Related article: A renters' checklist: First things to do when moving into a new rental property
If you're preparing to move to a new rental, have you already started saving to pay for your tenancy deposit? At Fronted, we know that making an upfront cash payment can be tricky – especially if you have to pay your new deposit upfront before getting any of your old ones back.
Lifetime Deposits are a perfect solution for renters like you where your deposit moves home with you. Check out the details of how our Lifetime Deposits work or join our waiting list to be the first to use them when they launch.
If you're a renter, we've got your back. This corner of the Fronted site is loaded with everything from moving tips, Lifetime Deposits, and anything you need to make renting, or moving, a breeze.
Fronted is a trading name of Fronted Holding Ltd. We are registered in England and Wales (Company No.12278750), registered office address is Fronted, The Fisheries, 1 Mentmore Terrace, London, E8 3PN. Fronted Loans Ltd (Company No.12307305) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under a Consumer Credit Licence (FCA No. 933316). Fronted Ltd (Company No.12304059) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under a Broker Licence (FCA No. 933317).
Fronted Loans Ltd and Fronted Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fronted Holding Ltd. We are part of the FCA regulatory sandbox - Cohort 6. The regulatory sandbox allows firms to test innovative offerings in a live environment. More information on the FCA's regulatory sandbox can be found here.
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