So, you’ve made the decision to move out of your rented property, what next? As a tenant who has (hopefully) looked after the property with care you will be expecting to gain your full deposit back from your landlord. If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in England and Wales, which started with a deposit on or after 6th April 2007, that deposit has to be protected in one of the government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes (TDP). Knowledge of this scheme will help you to be fully informed when going through the process of having your deposit returned.
Once you’ve gone through that, follow these top tips to enhance your chances of getting your money back:
To further increase your chances of getting your deposit back follow these five top tips.
1 – End of Tenancy Cleaning – One of the first things that your landlord will do is to carry out an inspection to check the condition of their property. They will look for any damages and, of course, they will monitor the level of cleanliness. Molly Maid end of tenancy cleaning, for example, is a way in which you can call in a team of professionals to get this right. If it gets you your money back, this sort of service will pay for itself.
2 – Inventory check – Before moving into any property insist on an inventory list. Check and list everything carefully – look under carpets, on both sides of mattresses – and note all damages, marks or scratches, as well as how clean everything is. If possible take photos, just in case you need to prove the condition of the property at a later date. When your landlord returns to complete their end of tenancy check against the list you can compare this to the initial photos and notes that were made originally. This should avoid any unnecessary reductions in your deposit and ensure that you can make your case with confidence if required.
3 – Maintenance – Throughout your tenancy stay on top of things. You know exactly what the house looked like when you moved in so maintain that standard during your stay. However long your tenancy agreement is you will undoubtedly have a few things that need fixing – such as replacing light bulbs or batteries in the smoke alarms. But if you find larger problems, such as issues with the boiler or a leaky sink, then contact your landlord immediately otherwise you could be liable for larger problems that occur as a consequence.
4 – Reputable Landlords – When selecting a property make sure you factor in who the landlord is and try to deal with someone trustworthy and reliable. Check references from previous tenants and find out what locals really think of them. Once you’ve visited the property it is always worth going back when it’s just the current tenant present – if there is one – to ask them for an unbiased assessment. If there is no sitting tenant, try asking neighbours. If there haven’t been any issues then the landlord should be a safe bet.
5 – Know your rights – However, if you do find yourself in a dispute, in which you believe the landlord has made an unfair decision to withhold some of your deposit, there is plenty of advice and guidance on Shelter’s website. It is important to know your rights and be aware of where you stand in terms of getting your deposit back.
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