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  • Writer's pictureGateway Property Hub

10 Tips to get your Deposit back

Updated: Feb 21

Moving to another property and want your deposit back?


Landlords and letting agents hire an inventory clerk to do a checkout inspection at your property after you have moved out and will compare it with the original inventory you signed. Damage, changes, or repairs will be deducted from the tenant's security deposit to bring the property back to its original state*. Most tenants could avoid deductions by just doing a few things.

Our inventories are done using the software called InventoryBase on a mini iPad with screensaver and a lovely pink case;)


10 tips so you do everything right to get your full security deposit back

  1. Give the right notice on the correct date. Some tenancy contracts require 2 months' notice, and the notice needs to correspond to the rent payment date. For instance, if your rent payment date is the 1st, don't give notice on the 3rd as you might be too late and be liable for another month's rent.

  2. Read the inventory you received and signed for when you moved in and follow the hints and tips in the document to hand the property back in the same condition/cleanliness with furniture/appliances in the exact same positions.

  3. Ask your agent if you can pay the agency/landlord to have the property cleaned, using their cleaning team, on the last day of your tenancy. This way you won't waste money on other so-called professional cleaners that don't know how to clean properly and there will never be any extra claims or cleaning. An extra-deep, pet clean needs to be done when pets have been kept ensuring the property is fumigated, all hair and dander removed, and steam cleaned. See our blog post about keeping pets.

  4. Or strictly follow the attached cleaning checklist and tips pdf to ensure you've cleaned everything that will be checked. (i.e. inside/under/on top/behind the cupboards, fridge, cooker, washing machine, plugholes, skirtings, ceilings, taps, tiles, shower screen, and cooker hood, etc.) Don't under estimate the time it takes to clean properly. Most 1 bedroom flats take at least 7 or 8 hours to clean properly.

  5. Remove your pictures/Sellotape/sticky pads, repair all the holes /damage and repaint the whole wall where you've patched up. Use stain block paint and the same colour or white Dulux silk paint which is the standard used in our properties. Otherwise patchy walls and walls with holes will be repaired and repainted by the landlord and deducted from the deposit. The repairs must be level and be invisible after being fixed and painted.

  6. Clean all kids drawings and scuff marks off the walls with Magic Eraser. Treat all mould around basin sink, shower, bath, and toilet and behind cupboards and around windows, in corners of rooms, with commercial strength mould and mildew remover. If it cannot be removed, you may need to give a wall a lick of paint with stain block paint or replace silicone. If it was kept clean, well-ventilated and well heated throughout your tenancy then this step is obviously not needed.

  7. Make sure all lightbulbs are fully operational and are low energy lightbulbs. (Including oven, cooker hood, and outside lights). Non-working or missing lightbulbs and/or incandescent lightbulbs will be replaced by the landlord's contractor and will be deducted from the deposit.

  8. Take photos of your electricity, gas and water readings and inform the supplier and pay the outstanding amounts 1 month before moving out so you don't get a nasty shock when your last bill comes. You will have to prove that all your bills have been paid up to date.

  9. Makes sure all your personal items like furniture, rubbish bins, ironing boards, bathroom mats and bottles of cleaning liquids have been removed. Nothing must be left behind. Replace all the landlords' items which you might have damaged, disposed of or taken away with the exact replacement. Extra charges apply to have items replaced, removed and disposed of. Don't just leave unwanted items behind. It will cost you dearly

  10. Hand all sets of keys back on the last day of your tenancy by 12 noon. Not 3 days later, as you will be charged an additional 3 days rent, which will be deducted from the deposit. Or if you are locking the key in the property make sure you send a text or email with photos of the where you've left the keys, fobs, entry cards, remotes and electricity/gas cards. Remember post-box and garage keys.

  11. Check that you can log into the deposit scheme so you can respond quickly to the deposit when it's released after you've moved out. It cannot be paid to your bank before you have moved out until you have sent proof of all the bills paid up to date.

After all this, enjoy your new home and we hope all goes well with your move.

*Fair wear and tear will be allowed for but holes in the walls, dirt, and kids drawings are not considered wear and tear.


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