A Guide on How to Get Your Full Rent Deposit Back
There are many articles on removals and storage online and in magazines, but most focus on homeowners. That’s why we’re taking a different perspective by helping our followers who rent. It’s a tough road to venture from being a tenant with little in the way of support when issues arise. One of the biggest complaints we hear about is when landlords deduct large chunks from their deposit when it’s time to hand back the keys.
Issues stemming from the repayment of deposits is something that comes up countless times when we speak to customers. Luckily, there are things in place to hold everyone to account outside of the lease. We’ll use this article to go into more detail about the legal side of things. This will also include Aussie’s best tips for staying ahead of the situation.
Want Your Full Rent Deposit Back? We’ll Help You –
The first thing we need to do is go through the intentions of this blog. While we can’t actively go through the deposit reclamation process with you individually, we will provide useful information. This includes anyone nearing the end of the lease and new tenants, plus everyone in between. It’s not possible to cover everything here, but this will put you on the correct path.
It’s also necessary to note that this isn’t an attack on landlords. Many credible ones in Oxfordshire run honest businesses. For us, it’s about fairness and promoting an equal footing when it comes to rentals, which currently favours property owners above renters. Similarly, this also serves to remind all parties of their responsibilities.
The key point we’re making here is accountability and forming good habits around record keeping. It will help if you’re ready for the end of your tenancy before the final week. Additionally, you should foster an honest relationship with your landlady from the outset. This will make things easier for everyone when parting ways and work together for repairs and maintenance.
Tips of Cleaning and a Typical Lease Clause –
On average, a typical upfront deposit payment is anywhere between two or even three months rental amount. That’s a lot of money, and the thought of losing that is hair-raising. That’s why you need to pay close attention to your lease, precisely where it discusses cleanliness and maintenance. And please be aware of this before you sign the contract, just in case you think it’s unusually stringent. Most of the time, this centres around the state of the property when you return the keys.
You have two options for cleaning the house or flat at the end of the tenancy. The first is to do everything yourself but to a professional standard. Alternatively, you leave it to the pros and hire a cleaning company. The notable point is that this needs to be your main focus because your deposit swings in the balance, meaning a quick sweep or mop isn’t going to work. Our suggestion is to go above and beyond to make sure this doesn’t cause any reason for deductions.
The likelihood is that your landlord will charge you for a professional clean after you hand the keys back. If you book the cleaning providers yourself, it’s possible to 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. Similarly, you can achieve this with a DIY job, but it’s crucial you go all out and leave nothing to chance.
Create an Inventory of Repairs and Maintenance –
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 anything out because it’s insignificant because you never know if this will degenerate into something more serious later. An example is a small damp patch on the ceiling that might seem harmless until a few months later when it’s five times the size and is moulding over.
When you complete your inspection, 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. However, you might need to lower your expectations a bit if you expect them to fix the leaking kitchen tap the next day.
More importantly, you’ll have a written record of everything to cover yourself if a legal dispute occurs. We think it’s an excellent idea to add photo and video evidence to accompany the inventory, which gives you complete reassurance. If any issues arise, you’ll have plenty of items ready to state your case and safeguard your deposit. It’s worth thinking of this from the worst possible scenario where someone official will ask for proof.
Tackle Small Repairs and Finding a Referral –
We’re going to state something from the outset – be cautious when it comes to making repairs or any modifications. It will be best if you ask for written consent before doing either unless it’s easily remedied before you depart. If possible, remember our previous point of creating a repair and maintenance inventory when you arrive. If you’re already several months in, don’t worry – it’s never too late to start one.
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 slight problems from wear and tear. And most people accidentally smash a plate or mark a wall during the rental period. You’ll need to fix them before you leave, or it might cause problems with deductions. Remember to limit these things to simple tasks because this is your landlord’s responsibility.
For major problems, such as any damage you cause, it will be necessary to cover the costs. Aussie has contacts in most industries and can make a professional referral. Your landlady might insist on using someone they work with, but it’s a good idea to get a quote to reference. That way, you’ll know if there are any instances with overcharging when it comes to deductions.
The Deposit Process in Full – Know Your Rights –
This section will go over the official points 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, any fines for non-compliance, 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 total 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 specific clauses about the responsibilities of the tenant. This includes 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.
To summarise – it’s vital you read and understand the lease. While most copy and paste from generalised contracts, some landladies alter parts to tailor certain parts. You need to understand these clauses in detail and ask questions before signing anything. By doing this, you’ll feel confident when it comes to any issues or disputes later.
Create a Mutual Respect with your Landlord –
One of the best ways to create a favourable situation where claiming your deposit back is to encourage positive relations between yourself and the landlady. Do this from the start of your tenancy, and it’ll make things more straightforward for everything that follows. There are specific rules you both should abide by; usually, they’re stipulated in the rental contract. It’s possible to be firm and friendly, and good relations will help you get them to undertake repairs.
While it’s essential to be diplomatic, you should raise issues without fear. But it’s always better to do with tactfully and by understanding that it’s a two-way street. 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 confidence there’s something in writing stating any problems. And if an issue escalates, later on, you can refer to it swiftly. This might act as a deterrent before the homeowner starts to consider deductions. Moreover, 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.
Aussie Man & Van Oxford – Helping Renters Claim Their Full Deposit Back –
There’s no better feeling than finding the ideal place to rent that ticks all the boxes. However, it’s difficult to know how good your landlord will be before signing yourself up for twelve or twenty-four months. The only way to cover your back and feel secure in your decision is to study the lease thoroughly and contact the Citizens Advice Bureau if you need clarification on the legal side of things. Also, check out the government website to get complete details of deposit regulations here.
Aussie relocates thousands of people every year in Oxford, and we’ve heard our fair share of good and bad renting stories. We can suggest that a cleaning service helps many of them bring their property back into a decent condition. Our range of removals and storage services ready to move you in or out of your rental property. And we’ll always provide you with the most efficient and cost-effective moving package.
The final tip from Aussie – always read the fine print and request quotes for any potential repairs. Click here to ask for one from us for your removals service, and we’ll gladly discuss other tips for renters.