If you have been living in rented accommodation and your lease has come to end, you’ll want to make sure you get your deposit back from your landlord or the rental agents. There are a few things you can do to make sure the landlord has no excuse to refuse it.
Leave the accommodation in Good Condition
You should always leave a rented property in the same condition it was in at the beginning of your tenancy. To make sure of this take photographs of each room and the pieces of furniture, especially if something is already damaged when you move in. Make a note of the condition of the carpets and the curtains. Make an inventory too, of the contents and ask the landlord or their agents to sign the inventory, any comments you have made or notes you have taken, and photographs of any damaged items with the date.
At the end of your tenancy re-do the inventory, replace any missing items and re-take photographs for comparisons. Make sure everything is clean and tidy. This will make it easier for the landlord to look around the property.
Reasons Money Can be Deducted from your Deposit
• If you have damaged anything during the tenancy period such as torn wallpaper, or a stain on the carpet of the furniture which you have not been able to remove
• Items on the inventory are missing or broken and you haven’t replaced them
• You haven’t paid all the rent and still owe money to the landlord
Reasons A Landlord Can’t Keep your Money
• Carpets, curtains or furniture now show signs of wear and tear
• Damage which was caused when the landlord failed to make a repair, for example a leak which caused damaged to a carpet or wooden floor.
• Paintwork that is slightly marked
Wear and tear appears over time and is normal when a person lives in a property over time. Normal wear and tear is not an excuse to keep your money.
Your landlord should have put your deposit money in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) if you have an assured short hold tenancy. Your landlord needs to place the deposit in one of the three schemes available within 30 days. When your tenancy ends you should receive your deposit within ten days.
If the deposit is held under a scheme and you have a dispute with your landlord about getting your money back, the deposit will remain in the scheme until you come to an agreement.