Landlords have been taking a deposit from prospective tenants for many years but it was only recently that legislation was passed to protect renter’s money. Property owners collect deposits to cover themselves against any damages that the renter may cause to the house during their tenancy in what is a legitimately good reason from their perspective.
The main issues with deposits come about when a tenant’s contract comes to an end, or if they choose to move on. Disputes may arise when a landlord withholds part of your deposit for the work they may feel needs doing before the property can be leased to the next tenant.
If you are tenant and would like to avoid the hassle here are some top tips for passing your landlord’s inspection and retaining your deposit:
Before you move in
A good landlord will normally go through the property with you and tick off any existing damages, marks, and other items of note. Preferably, such checks should be done with a physical list of images which is then signed by both parties before the deposit changes hands. It is worth noting that the deposit remains your property during your tenancy but is held by the landlord.
Make certain that your deposit is protected in a scheme as this ensures you get all of it back if you meet the set terms, and any disagreements are resolved by a free dispute resolution service. In addition, doing some research and finding out more from resources such as the Open Property Group’s Landlord tips will help you know what else to look out for in a prospective lessee.
During the Tenancy
After moving in, there are a number of things tenants can do to preserve their deposit, including maintaining the property to a good standard and fixing any damage immediately. Notify the landlord if any major damage occurs, or if any structural repairs are required. In addition to documenting any minor damage, you should also keep a record of any improvements made to the property.
Moving out and Passing the Inspection.
When the time comes to move out, read through the contract and follow any instructions on issues such as cleaning the carpet, filling holes made by picture hooks, and the like. Fix any additions that the landlord does not require and clean the property thoroughly, – you may want to hire professional cleaners if you do not have the time or equipment to do a good job. Lastly, ensure that nothing is missing before going through the property and inventory with the landlord.
When a landlord has finished their inspection they will then raise any concerns and come to an agreement with the tenant on the amount to be returned. If any disputes arise due to the amount returned, that is where scheme protected deposits come in, as the disagreement can be resolved fairly by an independent body.