Tips on getting your tenancy deposit back
If you are already tenant or you’re just about to sign on the dotted line for a new rental property, you’ll probably be thinking about how best to protect your tenancy deposit.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips to ensure your money is returned with no deductions. That way, when you are ready to move on, the end-of-tenancy process will be as smooth and stress-free as possible.
What is a tenancy deposit scheme?
Did you know that your landlord must use a Government-approved scheme to protect your deposit if your rental agreement is an assured short-hold tenancy?
The schemes are designed to guard both landlords and tenants and ensures the return of money if:
- The terms of the tenancy agreement are adhered to
- The property is not damaged
- Rent and other bills are paid on time
By law, a landlord or letting agent must place a deposit in one of three approved schemes within 30 days. At the end of the tenancy, as long as there is no dispute and everyone agrees how much is to be returned, a tenant must have the deposit back within 10 days.
Our chosen scheme is MyDeposits, which is backed by the National Landlords Association, and provides free and impartial dispute resolution if needed.
Make an inventory
An inventory (or Schedule of Condition) is a detailed list of the contents and condition of the property before you move in. It is the document that will be referred to in the event of a problem, so it is important to take the time to read it carefully and keep it safe.
If you choose to rent a property through Redrose, we like to do things properly. That’s why we create professional photographic inventories. These not only log contents and condition but also to provide a visual record of a property. We ask tenants to check the inventory and let us know in seven days if there are any discrepancies or if they need to add anything to it.
Report problems as soon as possible
Nobody likes nasty surprises. Rather than waiting until moving out day, it’s best to keep a landlord informed of any issues along the way.
Here at Redrose, we offer access to PropertyFile, an online communications portal where tenants can report problems and track maintenance updates.
If you decide you need to make repairs to the property yourself, we recommend using a well-reviewed trades-person. That way, you’ll know that you have the best chance of the work being done properly. However, make sure to always review your paperwork so that any work undertaken isn’t a breach of the tenancy agreement.
Along with the inventory, it is important to keep the tenancy agreement in a safe place. This outlines the obligations of both landlords and tenants, and may include conditions about, for example, keeping a garden neat and tidy.
If a landlord incurs costs because you fail to meet the terms of the agreement, then money may be deducted from the deposit.
Keep it clean
We know that moving out can be stressful enough without having to think about crumbs at the back of cupboards and scuffed skirting boards. However, it is vital to hand the property back in a good condition so the landlord isn’t left to pick up an expensive cleaning bill. And, so you can get your tenancy deposit back.
Check all appliances are clean, the bathroom is in good order, and kitchen units are wiped down. It’s a good idea to have the carpets cleaned if necessary and ensure there are no rips or stains.
Make sure you always refer to your inventory. This will be a clear record of the property’s condition at the beginning and help you get the property back to the standard it was given.
Get ready for the handover
Trust us, you don’t want to be hunting around for lost keys on the day of the handover. That’s why it pays to be organised ahead of time.
Collect all keys and put them together so these are ready to be returned to the landlord. Meanwhile, give yourself enough opportunity to contact utility providers, so they can talk you through your options. Then, on moving out day, you can take some final meter readings and have a last run-through the inventory to check that everything is in its place.
If you would like to let a property through Redrose, take a look at our current properties for rent in Buckshaw Village and the surrounding area. If you are a landlord and want to speak to us about our services, call the team on 01257 547062.