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Option Homes Ltd - News- Tenants: How to Get Your Deposit Back

Tenants: How to Get Your Deposit Back

Date Added 01/07/2016

In a recent blog, we talked about the deposit protection schemes that are in place for assured shorthold tenancy agreements (which most tenancy agreements are). They are schemes that landlords have to pay their tenants` deposits into to ensure the money is still there at the end of the tenancy period, as well as providing a dispute resolution service that helps determine exactly how much of the deposit should be paid back should there be a disagreement.

However, those protection schemes are no use to you if you violate the terms of your tenancy agreement by causing damage to the property which will need to be paid for by your deposit. That`s what the deposit is paid for originally in the first place after all.

There are plenty of ways to avoid such an unfortunate circumstance, which it`s fair to assume most renters will be keen to do as their deposit is often needed back in order to help pay the deposit of the next place they move into.

How to Ensure Your Deposit Should be Paid Back

When you first move in, you should take photographs of the rooms, the carpets, windows, walls and fixtures so that there is photographic evidence of the condition they were in when you first moved in. This is especially true if there are any imperfections anywhere. There is no need to keep this a secret and it can actually be a good idea to let your landlord know that you`re doing this in order to avoid any unnecessary disagreements in the future. However, bear in mind that this will only really be useful to you if any of the listed items above are not already in good condition. Perhaps more importantly, take photographs when your tenancy agreement is up and you are leaving the property, so there is evidence of the exact condition you left the property in.

If there has been damage or significant wear and tear on any items or areas in the house, then fix them up as best you can. If the item is beyond repair, then accept that you will have to pay for it out of the deposit, although you could also offer to replace it yourself if you think you can get a better deal.

Check Your Contract Thoroughly

You will also want to review your contract thoroughly to check for any conditions you need to adhere to, such as deep-cleaning the carpets, replacing stained mattresses or removing and filling in any nails or picture hooks you have used throughout the property. There may be conditions in the contract regarding exactly what kind of cleaning service you need to perform before leaving, so ensure you`re aware of this as early as possible so you can take care of it.

While you have the contract out, double check the inventory to ensure nothing is missing or broken, replacing or offering to pay for anything that needs to be. Also give everything you can a proper deep clean, scrubbing it as you would appreciate someone doing for you before you moved into a new place. This is the best you can do, and in most instances the landlord will appreciate your efforts and be happy to pay back your full deposit without the need for the dispute resolution service that is part of the deposit protection schemes.
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