Getting your deposit back: 5 tips for tenants

Fri 18 Sep 2015

Getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy is as important to you as receiving the property back in good condition is to your landlord.

If you don’t leave your rented property as you found it when you moved in – apart from fair wear and tear – some or all of your deposit will be kept by your landlord to cover the cost of any repairs, replacements or cleaning needed.

Property specialist Leaders has put together five simple tips that will help you avoid some of the problems that can arise whilst renting and increase the likelihood of getting your deposit back in full when you move out:

1) Check and double-check the inventory

The inventory records details of everything in the property and its condition; this is what will be referred to when you move out to decide whether or not you are leaving the property as you found it. The start of your tenancy is your golden opportunity to check that it is 100 per cent accurate and that you agree with everything detailed in this important document.

Getting the details down in writing on day one ensures an impartial record of the condition of the property and its contents so that a fair assessment can be made at the end of your tenancy.

2) Ventilate to reduce the risk of condensation

One of the most contentious issues in rental properties is condensation, which is caused by how a property is lived in and can cause damage if left unchecked. To avoid problems from condensation you should heat and ventilate rooms adequately, avoid drying washing indoors and always correctly use any extractor fans provided in the property.

3) Is your garden becoming overgrown?

Check the terms of your tenancy agreement, if there is a garden it is usually your responsibility to maintain it. It’s best to keep on top of it throughout your time there as tackling a messy garden in one hit at the end of your tenancy could be a huge task. Regular maintenance is the only way to ensure this job doesn’t get out of hand. If you are renting a furnished property then gardening tools should be provided by your landlord.

4) Report problems as they arise

What may start as a minor annoyance can soon require major repairs so you should report any problems as soon as they arise. Have you noticed a leak? Has damp started to appear in the bathroom? Is water struggling to drain from your bath or basin? It’s up to you to tell your landlord or letting agent so such problems can be dealt with before they grow.

5) Tidy and clean before you go!

Leaving your rented home clean and in good order is vital. In many cases, tenants who fail to get their full deposit returned simply haven’t cleaned the property to the same standard as when they moved in. The property should be left as clean as you found it – from carpets and furniture to walls and appliances, and everything in between – in order to get your deposit back in full.

For advice you can trust on all aspects of letting, renting, buying or selling, please contact your local branch.

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