Top ten tips for keeping your rental deposit!

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The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme has been set up to protect both landlords and tenants by holding deposit monies in an approved Government scheme.

There are, however, certain caveats & conditions which can mean tenants aren’t guaranteed to receive their deposit back. For example, if for some reason a landlord feels that a property has fallen into disrepair, and it was of the tenants own doing, the price of repairing those damages would be taken from their deposit, (if this is laid out in your tenancy agreement).

With this in mind, we thought we’d provide you with 10 tips to ensure you keep your rental deposit when you move out of your property:

1 – Tenancy Agreement

Always read your tenancy agreement it lays out explicitly what is and isn’t expected of you.

2 – Photographs

Take your own automatically dated photographs and pay proper attention to the ones within an inventory. Always make notes of any existing damage so that you can’t be blamed for it. This will safeguard you for the future, should a particularly disgruntled landlord try to find excuses for withholding your deposit.

3 – Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

Ensure your deposit is held in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. These schemes give both the landlord and the tenant peace of mind that the deposit monies have been lodged in safe hands.

4 – Bill Payment

Make sure your rent and bills, such as gas, electricity, telephone and Internet, are all paid promptly. It’s your responsibility as a tenant to take care of these utilities, unless otherwise stated in your agreement. Failure to do so, may very well cause problems and give your landlord grounds to terminate your tenancy – particularly if you fall into debt.

5 – Report Repairs

Allowances can be made for general wear & tear depending on the length of the tenancy agreement. However, it’s a landlord’s decision on what is reasonable and what is excessive dilapidation, so it’s essential you report any required repairs as soon as possible.

6 – Basic Housekeeping

Keep the property clean and tidy. Carpets should be cleaned regularly, as well as a general deep clean every quarter to ensure your home remains manageable. You may find it useful to follow a cleaning checklist to provide top tips on how to keep your rental home in tip top clean condition.

7 – Floor Protection

Protect wooden floors with castors on furniture legs & wheels and rugs over open spaces not only help to reduce damage to floors. Floors can scratch easily; therefore prevention is far better than cure.

8 – Gardening

If any gardening is required, this would normally be outlined in the agreement also. Some landlords offer their own gardener and include the expense in the rent. Be sure to check what is required of you.

9 – Vacating Premises

Make sure you leave the property empty or charges can be made to have your stuff removed. This includes an excess of rubbish, unwanted furniture and any other items that were not on the initial inventory.

10 – Disputes

If there’s a disagreement with a landlord about how much deposit should be returned, your Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme offers a free dispute resolution service, so contact them as soon as possible. It could mean the difference between only receiving part of your deposit and getting the full amount back.

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