At the end of your tenancy agreement you will want to claim back your deposit from your letting agency or landlord. Here are the simple steps you will need to take to ensure the process goes as smooth as possible!
Paying the deposit and signing a contract
When you pay for deposit make sure you have a written receipt for the money you paid; this should include your landlord’s name and address.
You should also be wary of clauses in your tenancy agreement that state your landlord can deduct charges from your deposit. If you spot any, try negotiating on them before you sign the contract.
When you move in
When you first move in, draw attention to any outstanding repairs or damages that were made before you moved in (maybe by previous tenants). You can agree an inventory with your landlord so they can’t claim for ant damage done before you moved in.
Photos are an efficient way of proving what condition the property was in when you moved in and how it looked when you left. Make sure photos (and maybe videos) are labelled with dates.
When it comes to utility bills, take meter readings upon arrival and send these to your supplier to ensure you don’t get charged for the bills of the previous tenants.
During your tenancy
Look after the property and report any damages and repairs, and keep records (preferably emails or in writing) of correspondence with your landlord regarding any repairs.
Have a look over your tenancy agreement and check what you need to do to get back your deposit and perhaps avoid any charges that apply.
Make sure you remove all your belongings and clean the property fully. And take utility meter readings to prove final bills were paid.
What if my deposit isn’t returned?
If you believe you are entitled to your deposit and there is no reason as to why they haven’t returned it to you after four weeks, you have the opportunity to raise a dispute through your tenancy deposit protection scheme.
But remember, the dispute must be raised within three months after the end of your tenancy.