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How do I get my deposit back at the end of my tenancy agreement?

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The trouble with a blog entitled ‘how do I get my deposit back at the end of my tenancy agreement?’ is that tenants often only start to check landlord and tenant law on how and if they can get their tenancy deposit back towards the end of their tenancy agreement when, in some cases, it may be too late to try to recover all or some of your deposit. Landlord and tenant solicitors therefore encourage tenants to look into what tenants need to do to get their deposit back when they first sign up to their tenancy agreement. If you didn’t do that then it may still not be too late to make sure that you can get all or a proportion of your deposit back when you leave your rented accommodation.

Landlord and tenant deposit dispute solicitors

If you need legal advice about your tenancy agreement or a deposit dispute then the landlord and tenant team at OTS Solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available through video conference, Skype or by telephone appointment.

Tenancy deposit law

The law says that if a tenant provides a deposit to a landlord that:

  • If the deposit was paid after the 6th April 2007 the landlord or the letting agent has to use an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme to protect the deposit

  • The deposit remains the property of the tenant and can only be retained by the landlord at the end of the tenancy agreement if its retention is justified and in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement and deposit scheme.

A tenant therefore does have some deposit protection though many tenants say it often does not feel as if they stand much chance of getting all or much of their deposit back at the end of their tenancy agreement.

How to get your tenancy deposit back

Here are some tips on how to get your tenancy deposit back at the end of your tenancy agreement. Some of the tips are very basic but landlord and tenant solicitors say it is surprising how often it is the simple things that you can do that help you secure the return of your deposit. The tips are:

  • Read your tenancy agreement before you sign it so you understand what you are committing to in relation to the property and what you need to do to ensure your deposit is returned at the end of the tenancy agreement

  • When you are nearing the end of your tenancy agreement or giving notice check the terms of your tenancy agreement again

  • If, at the outset of the tenancy agreement, the letting agent doesn’t take pictures of the property and the condition of the rooms, then make sure you do and that you keep them. That’s because the landlord can only expect the property back in the same condition as it was rented to you, allowing for reasonable wear and tear

  • Some tenancy agreements say that the tenant is responsible for garden upkeep. If you haven’t kept the garden in a reasonable state during your tenancy agreement make sure that it is weeded and sorted out before the end of your tenancy agreement. That is because if the landlord uses professional gardeners it could take a sizeable chunk of your deposit

  • The tenancy agreement will normally say that the property must be kept in a reasonable state and that the tenant will be responsible for its cleanliness. If the landlord has to pay professional cleaners to carry out a deep clean or for decoration of rooms after a short tenancy then your deposit may be lost. It is therefore best to look at the tenanted property with a critical eye well in advance of the date that you are due to leave the property to ensure that the property is reasonably clean and fresh and , if necessary, carpets are shampooed

  • If the rental property is furnished or part furnished an inventory should have been prepared at the outset of the tenancy agreement. If items are missing the landlord is entitled to use the deposit money to replace them on a like for like basis but it may be cheaper if you do so

  • If work is required to the property then the landlord should tell you how much the work will cost so you can challenge the quotes if necessary

  • Small items add up so whilst you may not think that it will cost a lot for the property or for the oven to be professionally cleaned and for a gardener to sort the garden out and for spare keys to be cut (because you lost the spare set during your tenancy agreement) all these items can mount up leaving you with little or no deposit. Therefore, if there are things that you can do, it is best to do so and to give yourself the time before the end date of your tenancy agreement to do so

  • Make sure all the utility and other bills are paid up as otherwise the landlord could potentially deduct money from the deposit for these bills.

How can OTS landlord and tenant solicitors help?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a deposit dispute arises between landlord and tenant. Often the dispute will be over what amounts to reasonable wear and tear or over the quotes that a landlord has secured to get the work carried out. If you are a tenant wanting advice on tenancy deposit rules at the end of your assured shorthold tenancy or need representation in a tenancy deposit dispute it is best to take legal advice from specialist landlord and tenant solicitors.

The friendly and efficient landlord and tenant team at London based OTS Solicitors can help you with your tenancy deposit dispute issues. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete ouronline enquiry form. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.

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