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How to guarantee your deposit back

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Last Updated: 10/07/2017  
Tags: Guarantee Your Deposit Back

If you are renting a property, chances are you have had to pay a deposit, and chances are that at the end of the tenancy agreement, you will be anticipating getting this money back. Meanwhile your landlord will be expecting that if the property has been vacated in a condition less than it was when you moved in, your deposit will be used to cover any necessary repairs, replacement of items, and cleaning.

It’s a fair arrangement, however sometimes disagreements can arise about the condition the property was in when tenants arrived, compared to the state it has been left in. It’s been known that (a minority of) unscrupulous landlords may try to cash in, by claiming items have been damaged or the property needed cleaning, in order to make a claim on the deposit.

To avoid this type of disagreement arising, it is important to make sure that a thorough inventory of the property is issued at the start of the tenancy agreement. This should include all furniture, fittings and fixtures and other items that are provided by the landlord, as well as the condition of the property overall. The more detailed this is the better, as this will avoid disputes arising later.

You should also make sure that any items belonging to the landlord remain at the property, and that the property is thoroughly cleaned before you leave. Any maintenance issues such as broken appliances should always be reported to the landlord at the time they arise, as it is their responsibility to repair these for you if they are included in the tenancy agreement. If you wait until you vacate the property to report issues, you might find it leads to problems later on.

A good landlord or agent will write to you to remind you of your responsibilities with a check list of items that you should go through before you leave so that nothing is missed. This may include cleaning, carpet cleaning, blown lightbulbs, and removal of rubbish or other items that belong to you. It is however your responsibility to ensure you are thorough at this stage as you waould not be allowed to re enter the property after the end of the tenancy.

If you are currently experiencing rental deposit problems, yet you feel the property has been left in excellent condition, you do have some options. If you are on an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (and most renters are, unless you are a lodger) your landlord or letting agent should by law be in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is a Government backed scheme to ensure tenant’s
deposits are protected. Your landlord has to pay your deposit into the scheme, and unless they have a valid reason not to return it to you at the end of the tenancy, you should get all of your deposit back.

If you feel your landlord is withholding your money without good grounds, and you need some rental property deposit help, you can use the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) service, which is provided as part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Under the ADR, your situation will be assessed by an independent third party, and they will determine how the deposit is to be split considering the evidence.

We hope this guide has been helpful, and of you need any support in finding your next property, whether renting or buying, we’d be happy to help.