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Tips to help you get your rental deposit back

Published 16 February 2016 by

The one person who can stand in your way when it comes to retrieving your rental deposit is your landlord. If they’re unhappy with the condition that you leave the property in or have any discrepancies over failed rental payments, you may have problems getting your full deposit back when you leave.

To help ensure that you receive your rental deposit back without any fuss, here’s a few tips and tricks to follow:

Read your contract

Unless you double-check your contract, you’re not going to know what’s expected of you, so this should be your first point of call. It could say that you’re required to deep clean all the carpets or wash all of the windows on the inside and out but you’ll never know unless you check this. If you do find a few specific requirements, don’t just ignore these – it’s important that you give yourself enough time to sort these out.

Check the inventory

You should have been supplied with an inventory when you moved into the property and used this to record the condition that everything was in at the time. Check through this thoroughly and replace or fix any items that have gone missing or that you’ve broken. Having your inventory to hand when the property is being inspected could help you to prove that any damage caused was not your fault.

Photograph everything

As further evidence, you should take photos of the property to show that you’ve left it in good condition. Do this for each room and be sure to take a couple of detailed snaps, as these will come in handy later on if a dispute arises. You could even label and date these photos.

A top tip to stand you in good stead when you move into your next property is to take photos of the place as soon as you move in and send copies of these to your landlord alongside the inventory – this will help cover you from the start.

Don’t do a patch up job

It may seem like a good idea to just move the couch over that stain on the floor or hang a picture up over a mark on the wall, but it’s not going to give off the best impression if your landlord spots it (and let’s face it, they probably will). The better option is to try and fix any damage that you’ve made in the property yourself, so try to clean any stains or marks up as best as you can.

Have a good clean

When all is said and done, a thorough cleaning session is probably going to be the best way to ensure that you’ll get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy. When doing this, step into the property as though it’s your first time and try to look everywhere you wouldn’t usually check, e.g. the top of cupboards, the corners of rooms, and underneath furniture.

Once you’ve done what you think is an in-depth clean, get a fresh set of eyes (either a friend or family member) to look over the property and see what they think. If they can spot areas which they think still look in need of a good clean, give the place another once over.

Wondering how to claim back your deposit and what to do if there’s a dispute? Our blog could help.