For a majority of renters in London, it’s necessary to have the deposit money available to be able to pay the next rental upfront costs. This can sometimes require some financial juggling or even taking out a loan, as it can set you back the equivalent of several months’ rent. And then there’s the issue with landlords who deduct from deposits in bad faith, which is why it’s important to know where you stand.
The Aussie team know how this process works, and we hope this short guide will help you claim your full deposit back.
How to Get Your Rent Deposit Back –
In this blog, we’ll go through the various aspects of a rental lease, the responsibilities, how to report issues and much more. We won’t cover every key point with a massive amount of detail, but it will set you on the right track. After reading this, you’ll have a starting point from where you can undertake more research. And with a bit of luck, we’ll help you get that full rental deposit back.
While there are lots of decent landlords in London, some will find any excuse to deduct money from your deposit. Fortunately, deposit protection has come a long way to holding each party to account but still tends to favour the property’s owner. That doesn’t mean you should accept it if you’re in the right, and the landlord isn’t in a legal position to do anything without your consent.
The main thing we’ll try and make a point of is accountability, why keeping records is crucial, and other tips on how to prepare for the end of your tenancy. It’s essential that you try and have an honest and open relationship with your landlord. And never feel like you shouldn’t request a repair, even if they try to avoid the issue.
Hire a Professional Cleaning Company –
With the average London deposit clocking in anywhere between two or three months’ rent upfront, you’ll need to ensure you get it back when you leave. That’s why we suggest using Aussie’s professional cleaning service before you move in and at the end of your lease. We have the right package to set you on course to claim the full amount back.
Aussie Clean operates all over London and the neighbouring areas, and we have the best cleaning professionals in our industry. Our team will clean the places most people avoid, like behind the toilet, under the fridge and inside the oven. There’s no grime we won’t tackle, no dirt we won’t clean, no mould we can’t remove.
It’s highly likely that your landlord will charge you for a professional clean after you hand the keys back. When you book with Aussie Clean, you can take the initiative and control of the rental deposit process. By stating you’re using a professional cleaning company, it puts you at an advantage and sets the tone of what follows.
Inventory Damage or Maintenance Issues –
Whenever you rent a new house or flat, the first thing you should do is start a list to note down the exact state of the property. Go through the entire building and write down any issues that you notice. Don’t leave out something because you think is minor; you never know how serious the problem is. For example – a small damp patch on the ceiling might seem harmless until a few months later when it’s five times the size and is moulding over.
When you complete your investigation, share the inventory with your landlord and state which things you need repairs on as a priority. It will show them that you’re proactive and care about the house or apartment. Although you might need to lower your expectations a bit if you think they’ll rush over to fix the leaky tap.
By creating a list, you’ll have a written record of everything to cover yourself if a legal dispute occurs. Plus, you can add photo and video evidence to accompany the inventory, which gives you complete reassurance. If any issues arise, you’ll have plenty of information ready to state your case and safeguard your deposit.
Make any Small Repairs or Use a Handyman Service –
There’s an important point we should raise – don’t undertake any major changes without consulting your landlord for approval. This also includes repairs, which you should list as per the last section. Your lease should state the actions you and your landlord are responsible for, in the event of breakages or issues with something in the house.
During your tenancy, you’ll no doubt cause some little issues from wear and tear. And most people accidentally smash a plate or mark a wall here and there. You’ll need to fix them before you leave, or it might cause problems with deductions. However, please remember to limit these things to simple tasks to ensure that you’re not doing your landlord’s work for them.
For more significant problems, such as any damage you cause, there’s Aussie’s Handyman service available. We have years of experience when it comes to fixing things and general property maintenance. Our Handyman team have all the right tools and materials to correct any problem and will move you closer to getting your full deposit back.
The Deposit Process, Deduction Information, Read Your Lease and Know Your Rights –
Here’s a brief overview of what happens when you pay your deposit plus however many months’ rent in advance. It’s a legal obligation for the money to go into a deposit protection scheme. The landlord has thirty days to do this and provide information on the protection and payment of the deposit. There are strict guidelines that all landlords must adhere to and fines, and other legal apparatus is there to keep their actions honest and transparent.
During the tenancy, neither the tenant nor landlord can withdraw the money from this protection scheme. When the tenancy ends, you will request the full deposit back from the landlord. Then it’s in their remit to respond and state if they want to deduct any amounts from the deposit. It’s a requirement that they then produce evidence and clarification on each request for a deduction.
There are many reasons why you can lose part of or the full amount of your deposit. It tends to be found in the small print of your lease, which you should study in detail before signing. There will be special clauses about the responsibilities of the tenant. Any unpaid rent or bill at the end of the tenancy, stolen or missing belongings, direct damage to the building and its contents, indirect damage due to negligence and lack of maintenance.
In a nutshell – study your lease in detail, make sure you fix any issues of your doing, and stand your ground, should your landlord try to make deductions where there’s no reason.
Communicate with Your Landlord Honestly –
One of the best ways to create a favourable situation where claiming your deposit back is to communicate with your landlord from the start of your tenancy. There are specific rules you both should abide by; usually, they’re stipulated in the lease. It’s possible to be firm but also friendly, and good relations will help you get them to undertake repairs.
You should never be afraid to bring up issues with the property or anything related, but it’s better to do this with a degree of tact and mutual respect. Try and understand that they have a business to run, as well as their own private life. It might not always be possible to fix something straight away. But it’s within your rights to push them if they start being overly lax in their response timings.
By sharing your inventory list of issues at the start, you’ll have the knowledge that you’re in the right, should an issue escalate later. Remember to communicate everything by email to create an online paper trail. Verbal discussions won’t hold up in court, and this is where problematic deposit issues end up.
Helping Renters Claim their Full Rental Deposits in London –
Renting in London is expensive, and it’s difficult to know how good your landlord will be before you sign yourself up for twelve or twenty-four months. The one way you can cover all bases when you do move-in is to study the lease thoroughly and contact the Citizens Advice Bureau if you need clarification on any clauses. Also, check out the government website to get full details of deposit regulations here.
Aussie Man & Van relocate tens of thousands of people every year in London, and we’ve heard our fair share of good and bad renting stories. The one thing we can suggest is that our cleaning service helps many of them bring their property back into a decent condition. We have a range of removals and storage services ready to move you in or out of your rental property. And they’re all at affordable prices.
Aussie Man & Van – London’s Favourite Removals and Storage Company –
If you’re about to move into a rental property, please make sure you use this guide to set you on the correct path. Contact us today, and we’ll happily discuss ways you can claim your full rental deposit.