There’s nothing more frustrating when you feel like you have to win a battle after moving out to get your deposit back. In most cases when you move in, you are being asked to pay a deposit. A landlord has the legal right to withhold some of your deposit if you for example not pay your rent on time or cause damage to the property. Also, if you don’t leave your property clean at the end of a tenancy, your landlord is entitled to deduct money.
Here are some useful tips to help you get your deposit back at the end of a tenancy.
Complete an inventory
Before moving in make sure you get a detailed inventory of everything in the property, including its current state and condition. If the inventory is done by the letting agent or landlord, make sure you are there. Check the list carefully and inform your landlord if anything has been missed or is incorrect. It is also a good idea to get a copy of the inventory for future reference.
If the landlord or agent doesn’t fill in an inventory, take a record of any existing wear and tear within the property. Take photographs of stains, marks, broken items and the overall cleanliness of the property. When done, sign and date the inventory and provide the landlord with a copy.
Your landlord has to protect your deposit, unless you live in the same house or in a student halls of residence. You can check online if your deposit is protected by one of the tenancy deposit protection schemes: Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Check your contract
Read your tenancy agreement carefully and check for any conditions on cleanliness requirements. Some landlords require you to get a professional in to clean the oven, carpets and windows before you move out. When paying the deposit, make sure you get a receipt.
Keep it clean
Keeping your home clean throughout the year, will save you a lot of time and hassle before moving out. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you might consider hiring a house cleaning service in Cambridge.
Invite the landlord
A couple of days before moving out repeat the inventory check. This is also a good time to invite the landlord round to find out what the requirements in terms of cleaning before the end of your tenancy. If you did damage any items, make sure to repair or replace them or your landlord is entitled to charge you.
Write a letter
After moving out you can write your landlord a letter and ask for your deposit back. If your landlord or estate agent is withholding some or all of your deposit and you believe it’s unfair, get in touch with the tenancy deposit scheme that is protecting your deposit.
Take legal action
If you decide to go to court, make sure you have enough evidence to support your claims, such as photographs and your inventory. You will need to send your landlord a letter, before going to court. Also be aware of any fees you will have to pay.
Going to court should really be your last resort and hopefully with the above tips this won’t be necessary and your deposit is returned after your tenancy ends.