Anyone who has rented before will know that it isn’t always as easy as it should be to get your deposit back when you move out. The majority of contracts state that tenants will get their deposits back if they property is left in the same condition as when they moved in with an allowance for “wear and tear”.
Here are some tips to make sure you get your full security deposit back:
Read Your Tenancy Agreement
It may be 10 pages long and full of small print, but it is important to read your tenancy agreement when you move in, so you understand exactly what needs to be done for your deposit to be returned.
Some landlords will just expect the property to be cleaned to a good standard, but others may require all windows to be cleaned and the outside of the property to be well maintained. It’s also a good idea to check what the rules are on putting nails in the walls - some tenancy agreements do not allow anything to be hammered into the walls.
When you move into a new property, you will be given an inventory which you need to go through thoroughly. This will detail all parts of the house and the condition it is in when you move in. Make sure you check every item of the list is actually in the house and that the current condition of each room is correct.
If there are any points you think could be misconstrued, for example “marks on the wall”, then make sure you take photographs to keep as evidence. There may be a huge black stain on one wall, and you don’t want them to come back saying there comment only referred to a scuff. If you don’t get your full deposit back, but feel you should have, photos will be your best friend when appealing.
This may seem obvious, but not that many people actually give their property a deep clean. The things people often get called out on when they move out is mold in the bathroom, a grime covered oven, and marks on the walls.
Try and clean your property regularly and keep on top of any marks and scuffs you see on the floors and walls. Starting with a relatively clean place will make your last deep clean a lot easier too - no one wants to tackle two years worth of grime in one go.
If anything goes wrong in your property or you need something fixing, make sure you report it to your landlord or letting agent at the earliest time possible. Even if you are nearing the end of your tenancy, get everything down in writing.
If anything is still broken when you do move out, no one will be able to charge you for it if you have evidence it was reported. Even if you replace whatever is broken yourself, you still need to let them know it will need replacing when you move out.
Have a Pre-Inspection
Some landlords and lettings agents will come over a week before your inspection is due and tell you about any areas of the property that need work on. They may charge you for the visit though, so make sure it’s worth it.
Once you know what needs sorting before the final inspection, you can work hard to fix and replace anything that isn’t in a good condition. Make sure you attend the final inspection and sign the inventory with the landlord, to show you both agree on the final notes made.
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