What is a non-refundable deposit?

A deposit is part of the total cost of something or an advance payment paid for at the time of booking. Businesses will sometimes insist it's non-refundable if you cancel and even write it into the contract.

But a business can only do this if the contract term is fair.

Can a deposit be non-refundable?

Just because something is written in a contract, it doesn’t mean it is always legally binding, as businesses ordinarily cannot rely on unfair terms.

Only in certain circumstances can businesses keep your deposit or advance payments, or ask you to pay a cancellation charge.

If you cancel the contract, the business is generally only entitled to keep or receive an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that directly result from your cancellation.

This could include costs already incurred or loss of profit.