A Tenant Guide to Avoiding Deposit Deductions

A Tenant Guide to Avoiding Deposit Deductions

Hannah McCartan
14th November 2018

Despite what the news would have you believe, deposit deductions aren’t inevitable. The key is to return your rental property in the same condition it was let to you in.

Depending on how long you’ve been living at the property, certain levels of wear and tear may be considered fair – and thus not deductible from your deposit.

It’s advisable to attend your check out meeting if given the chance, though if the things brought up during it aren’t immediately fixable, you won’t be able to return to the property to fix them.

7 Tips to Avoid Deposit Deductions:

  • Use your check in report as a guide. Your check in is the standard your check out will be compared against.
  • When cleaning, don’t forget inside the oven, hob (and any other appliances), inside cupboards, skirting boards, window sills, and grout between tiles. All mould and mildew should be wiped down. Don’t forget to vacuum the edges of the carpets where fluff and hair get easily missed.
  • Gardens should be tidied, with lawns mowed and paths and patios cleared of weeds and leaf litter.
  • If you have painted during your tenancy and the landlord hasn’t given permission for the room to stay that colour, you’ll need to return it to the original colour.
  • If you’ve put up picture hooks during your tenancy, you’ll need to remove and fill them (again, unless your landlord has agreed otherwise). Where there are a lot of holes in one wall, the wall may need to be repainted.
  • It might seem like a small thing, but if you can, put any contents, fixtures and fittings back where they were at the start of the tenancy. This makes it easier for the clerk conducting your check out to verify that they’re still there and haven’t been taken!
  • Don’t leave any rubbish at the front of the property or in any bins – this will need to be taken to the tip and/or recycling centre.

Cleaning

Cleanliness is not subject to wear and tear and accounts for the largest proportion of deposit claims from tenants’ deposits. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) reported that almost 70% deductions made are for cleaning for tenants aged 18-24 years old.

Damage

If damage has been caused during your tenancy, you’ll need to make good on it (by replacement or repair) before vacating. If you’re unsure how to do this, speak to your agent for advice.

Pets

If you have pets, you’ll need to ensure the carpets are professionally cleaned and treated for fleas when you move out. If there are fleas active in the property, you can instruct Swansea Council to come out and treat them.

Professional Advice

When a tenant gives notice, we resend out copies of the check in report to them, along with a letter detailing expectations for how the property should be left and reminders of easily-forgotten areas to clean. Our reports are compiled by Libra Energy & Estates, and their clerks make themselves available to offer advice for moving out, too.

Should you feel it appropriate to hire a professional, we are always willing to recommend qualified and insured contractors to you. If you do have work carried out by a professional, make sure you keep and provide us with a copy of the receipt.

We would recommend booking any work to be done with enough time for you to visit the property and check it over before handing in your keys. The liability for ensuring the property is left in a clean and good condition always lies with you as the tenant.

 

Related: Preparing Your Property for Autumn and Winter / McCartan End of Tenancy Guide

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