Whenever you pay a deposit at the start of your tenancy, you’re entitled to get it back when the tenancy ends. Your landlord or letting agent will only have the right to deduct money in certain circumstances, such as if you’ve damaged the property or you’ve unpaid rent when your contract ends. If you’ve been the perfect tenant but you’re still worried about receiving the full amount back, follow our top tips to help you leave the property as you found it.

Before you leave the property

To make sure you get your full deposit amount back, there are a few things you should do before you check out of the property.

Check the inventory checklist

This one is crucial to prove you’ve not lost or damaged any furnishings or items that belong to the property. When you move in, the landlord or letting agent should supply you with an inventory checklist. It’s important that you fill this in correctly so that if there are any damaged or missing items, you won’t be charged for them after you move out, as this happened before you took on the contract.

Report any damages and repairs

Throughout your time at the property, you need to report any damages and repairs, even if they’ve not been caused by you. If you contact your landlord or letting agent by phone regarding this, make sure to send them an email so you’ve got written proof you reported it. Depending on the severity of the damage, the landlord may cover this themselves or charge you for it on top of your rent. If they plan to take this out of your deposit, you need to be informed.

If you’ve reported a repair before you move out and it doesn’t get sorted, make sure you’ve written proof of the report. This way, if the landlord claims not to have known about the repair and tries to claim the cost out of your deposit, you can fight this.

Clean, clean, and clean again!

For the best chance of getting your deposit back, the property should be sparkling by the time you leave it! Ensure you leave the property in the same condition you found it. Preferably, you should put all furniture back where it was before you moved in.

Take pictures of the empty property

Usually, the landlord or letting agent will inspect the property after you’ve left. For this reason, we recommend that you take pictures of the house once you’ve cleaned it and emptied it of your belongings. This way, if it takes the landlord a few weeks to get around to inspecting it, you can prove that any dirt or dust was not left by you and that you didn’t leave anything behind.

How do I claim my tenancy deposit back?

Firstly, you’ll need to know who your landlord or letting agent has chosen to protect your deposit. All deposits must be protected by a Government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme if your contract is an assured shorthold tenancy. The protection schemes are:

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Deposit Protection Service

My Deposits

Once you pay the deposit to your landlord or letting agent, they must enter it into a protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it.

In some cases, you can ask the deposit protection scheme directly for your deposit to be returned, but in other cases, you need to ask your Landlord. It all depends on the type of scheme the landlord uses – Insured scheme or Custodial scheme. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme website explains the differences here.

Once you’ve asked the landlord or the protection scheme for your deposit back, and both parties have agreed on the amount that’ll be returned to you, the landlord has 10 days to refund you the amount. If after 10 days you’ve still not received your deposit, you can raise a dispute, but we always advise you to first contact your landlord and ask about the holdup. There could be an explainable reason which could be resolved quickly once you contact them.

Split The Bills: A bill-splitting service

Getting your deposit back at the end of tenancy should be pretty straightforward if you’ve been an ideal tenant, but sorting out bills and splitting them between you and your mates in your next student house can become a chore. That’s why we created our simple bill-splitting service. You can build your own package by choosing which utilities you want to be included, and then you let us take over! We’ll contact suppliers for you and set up your bills, plus all your housemates will get their own logins to the account so you won’t need a chief bill payer. Meaning you’ll spend less time having awkward conversations over missed payments and more time experiencing life as a student.

Take a look at how we work, or contact us today with any questions you may have, we’ll be happy to help!