Did you occupy the property under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement?
Right. The deposit should have been lodged with a tenancy deposit scheme so request the relevant details of the scheme, including the deposit reference number. If it has not been lodged then you will be eligible to apply for the return of the whole of the deposit and a fine payable by the landlord to you of three times the deposit amount. See a local landlord and tenant solicitor if this is the case.
Each scheme has a dispute resolution service and you will have to call the scheme in order to find out how to initiate it. Your argument will be based on the verbal statement made to you and it depends whether this is accepted or not. If it is not accepted then they will likely be able to keep the whole of the deposit so try and be as specific as you can about when the statement was made.
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