If you’re a tenant, then more often than not your biggest concern is ensuring that you get that hefty tenancy deposit you paid back at the end of your tenancy….we’ve written this article to help you know your rights AND to give you some ideas on what you can do to increase your chances of getting 100% of it back!
Increasing rent prices go hand in hand with increasing tenancy deposit amounts. The industry standard is 4-6 weeks’ worth of rent and has to be paid in advance.
It’s a large sum to part with but by following some simple steps you stand a far greater chance of receiving the full amount back once you’ve decided to move on.
Thoroughly Read Your Tenancy Agreement.
Make sure you’re clear and have a full understanding of what’s required of you throughout your tenancy before signing. Landlords will expect their property back in the same condition you received it in save for normal ‘wear and tear’. It’s a common mistake and a lot of tenants don’t realise they are responsible for the upkeep of the garden and the cleaning of windows. If it’s in the contract and you sign it….you’ll be charged if it’s not done.
Inventory Reports. Check, re-check and check again!
All good Landlords and Lettings Agents will issue you with an inventory/condition report at the start of your tenancy for you to sign. It’s easy to overlook this in the excitement of moving into a new home and these can sometimes get signed off without a second thought. It’s up to you to make sure that everything – including pre-existing wear and tear on the property, like stains and scuffs – is recorded and signed by the landlord as early as possible.
Back up your own findings with photos and an email to your landlord or letting agent.
Clean during the year
This may sound ridiculously obvious but it definitely helps not to have to tackle a whole year’s worth of grime two days before you move out.
Report Damages Immediately
If you’ve got damages or appliance malfunctions that aren’t your fault, make sure to report them and keep records. Take photos. Email your landlord or letting agent and keep a copy of that email.
Keeping records is important, hear an example from one of our tenants, “I once lived in a house with a leaking shower tray. I reported it to the Landlord but he didn’t do anything about it. After six months of showers, the wooden bathroom flooring had started to peel away and needed replacing. I took some photos, just in case. Sure enough, when I moved out, the Landlord tried charging me for replacement flooring. I explained the issue with the leak and mentioned I had a series of photos and emails reporting the problem. They gave me my tenancy deposit without question.”
Even if you don’t want the issue fixed, let your landlord know about it as soon as possible, preferably in writing.
Meet With Your Landlord
Consider meeting with your landlord a couple of weeks before you move out so they can inspect the property.
Go through the tenancy agreement and inventory report you received when you moved into the property. Try to get your landlord to say whether you are going to be charged for any damages or cleaning. That way you may be able to fix whatever problem there is while you’re still in a good position to do so.