Recovering your Rental Deposit: A How-to Guide

You’ve decided to move out of your rented property. As well as looking forward to the move and to your new chapter, you’re probably thinking about getting your rental deposit back. There are ways to drastically reduce the chance of any conflicts with your landlord and to increase the likelihood of a simple and full return of your deposit.

Be sure to clean

One of the most important tasks is to clean the property thoroughly before you hand back the keys. Your landlord will expect professional quality cleaning, so make this a priority. If you’re short on time, or to take the hassle out of it, consider finding an end of tenancy cleaners Tooting company to help you out. A professional cleaning company will do a great job. Be sure to keep the receipt to show your landlord. Sometimes your tenancy agreement will include specific cleaning requirements such as carpet washing, so always check your paperwork.

Repair any damage

Carefully check your rented property for damage. If an appliance is broken or there are dents in the walls, for example, you will need to replace the appliance and repair the wall, before you return the property. Be sure to keep receipts of any repairs, and always take lots of photographs. If you do not repair or replace something that is damaged, your landlord will probably keep some or all of your deposit to cover their costs.

Watch out for poor decorating

If you don’t feel you can decorate to a professional standard, avoid it at all costs while in your rental property. Your landlord is generally responsible for covering the costs of wear and tear, including basic decoration. However, if you have painted the property and the landlord is unhappy with the quality, they will be within their rights to keep your deposit to fund professional redecoration. Common mistakes can be paint splash marks on doors or floors, and wall colors bleeding onto ceilings.

Ensure your bills are paid

By the time you vacate the property, make sure you have paid all of your rent up to date, and have settled your utility bills. Making every attempt to pay everything on time throughout your tenancy will also go in your favor. If you have unpaid bills arriving at the property once you’ve left, your landlord can keep money from your deposit to settle these debts.

You can raise a dispute

If you vacate the property and then, despite all your efforts, your landlord decides to keep some or all of your deposit, you can raise a dispute. Firstly, if they charge you for small issues, carefully check your tenancy agreement and inventory. You may have grounds to complain and ask them to reconsider. You should do this by writing to your landlord, politely detailing your point of view and providing receipts and photographs if relevant. If they don’t get back to you within ten days, you can start legal proceedings against them. You have rights as a previous tenant to get back the money if you have done everything necessary.