Moving into your new home can be an exciting time, and you may not even be thinking about the far future, amidst the unpacking and buying of home items, and when you come to leave your new home. Getting back your rental deposit at the end of your stay is often an issue for many tenants, and you yourself could be a victim of not receiving it back from your landlord at the end. If a landlord feels that you have damaged the property in any way, they have a history of simply withholding part or all of the tenant’s deposit. Likewise, if a tenant fears that their landlord was not going to give them their deposit back, they could refrain from paying the last month’s rent – the landlord not being able to do much about it. Many Wirral letting agents provide a fair letting system, but there are a number of things that you can do to prevent such occurrences and to protect yourself with an unfair landlord or letting agent, ensuring that you receive your full deposit back. As a landlord, it is unlikely you will want to be the bad guy and not be able to return the deposit back to the tenant upon the end of their tenancy, so encourage tenants to do the following:
The most important things before, throughout and upon leaving residency is to keep a record of the appearance and condition of the property. Before you move in, take dated photos of your new home without all of your belongings, showing how you received it. If you damage anything during your stay or if something breaks of its own accord, be sure to let your landlord know immediately and follow your conversation up with an email, or if you emailed them prior, be sure to have a face to face or phone conversation with them. Upon leaving the property you should also take photographs, showing how you have left the property.
Keeping track of the condition protects you against any false or unfair claims of you mistreating the property and you have informed your landlord of any issues along the way.
At the beginning of your tenancy, it is important to scout the property with your landlord or agent and process through all items within. You yourself should thoroughly inspect and take photos of the property, paying attention to any impairment or broken objects. If they claim they will repair something which is broken then make sure you follow them up and only sign when you are completely satisfied with everything. It can also be worth recording the meter reading.
During your tenancy, if you find that anything gets damaged or broken that you cannot fix yourself, inform your landlord or agent immediately. This could include electrical damage/faults, dampness, plumbing, etc. Take any photographs of the damage and be sure to send an email as well.
Thoroughly examine your contract upon leaving. Clean if necessary and be sure to submit to any other conditions that your contract declares. Before leaving, take more photographs of how you are leaving the property and try to return it to the way it was when you first received it however, legally your contract should inform you that wear and tear is likely and okay.
With the aim to manage and to prevent anyone from losing out, the government introduced two types of deposit protection schemes. It is up to the landlord to determine which scheme is used, but anyone in the England and Wales vicinity who signs a short hold tenancy agreement has their deposit protected by one of these schemes, which also solves any disputes.
The custodial tenancy deposit scheme enables landlords to freely pay deposits into the deposit protection service, and when the tenancy comes to an end; both sides have to agree on a sum of deposit to be returned in order for the scheme to release the funds. The tenant then receives the funds through their bank account.
The insurance-based tenancy deposit scheme gives two options. The first is ‘My deposits’ and the second is ‘The tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). You deposit will be paid to your landlord, and your landlord keeps the deposit, paying a premium to the insurer.
There is also the option of an external examiner being appointed to offer solutions to any disputes.