Many renters wrongly assume the chances of receiving a full deposit refund at the end of their tenancy are "almost zero", according to a lettings agent.

Belvoir, a letting and buy-to-let firm, has advised tenants that if they follow rules laid out in their tenancy agreement, they are entitled to full repayment of their deposit.

The firm noted that UK tenants lose more than £15,000 a month in unreturned deposits from private landlords.

Mike Goddard, manager at Belvoir, said landlords only view deposits as a guarantee of being protected financially if their tenants are responsible.

He added: "If, as a tenant, you act according to the rules laid out in your tenancy agreement, your landlord has no right - and in the majority of cases no desire - to hold on to any of your deposit."

Mr Goddard added that tenants should check their deposits are protected under an authorised tenancy deposit scheme.

According to research published by the Association of Residential Letting Agents this month, some 95 per cent of landlords are aware of their legal requirements for tenancy deposit protection.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18991175-ADNFCR

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