Moving to another property and want your deposit back?
Landlords and letting agents hire an inventory clerk to do a checkout inspection at the property and compare it with the original inventory. Damage, changes, or repairs are deducted from the tenant's deposit to bring the property back to its original state*. Most tenants could avoid deductions by just doing a few things more.
10 tips so you do everything right to get your full security deposit back
Give the right notice on the correct date. Some tenancy agreements 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.
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 with furniture/appliances in the exact same positions.
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 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.
Or strictly follow the attached cleaning checklist pdf to ensure you've cleaned everything that will be checked. (i.e. inside/on top/behind the fridge, cooker, washing machine, plugholes, skirtings, ceilings, taps, tiles, shower screen, and cooker hood etc)
Remove your pictures/Sellotape/sticky pads, repair all the holes /damage and repaint the walls where you've patched up. Use 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 and deducted from the deposit. The repairs must be level and be invisible after being fixed and painted.
Clean all Kiddy 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 might need to give a wall a lick of paint or replace silicone. If it was kept clean, well-ventilated and well heated throughout your tenancy then this step is obviously not needed.
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 a contractor and will be deducted from the deposit.
Send readings to your electricity and gas and water 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.
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.
Hand all sets of keys back on the last day of your tenancy by 12 noon. Not 3 days later, which 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 and electricity /gas cards. Remember post-box and garage keys.
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 released before you have moved out you've sent proof of bills paid up to date.
Also look at our cleaning checklist and tips pdf
*Fair wear and tear is allowed for. Holes in the walls, dirt, and Kiddy drawings are not considered wear and tear.
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