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All You Need to Know About Deposits

March 1, 2012

What is a deposit?

A deposit is a sum of money (usually equal to one month’s rent) that you give to your landlord when signing your contact. This is held for the year by your landlord to be used to repair damage that you may do to the property or to cover late rent payment. Some, or all of your deposit will be returned at the end of your tenancy.

How can I protect my deposit?

  • Take an inventory: This is a list of the contents in the house and the condition they are in at the start of your tenancy that is agreed by the landlord and tenants. If the landlord does not provide one, you can produce your own if it is witnessed and signed by a third party.
  • Take photographs: This provides photographic evidence of the contents at the start of the tenancy. Make sure you can prove what date they were taken.
  • Keep records: Keep the receipts of any repairs or replacements you have made.

To minimize the amount that is taken out of your deposit, make sure to keep the property in good condition by cleaning regularly and avoid causing damage. Have a thorough clean of the property, paying particular attention to the bathroom and appliances such as the cooker and fridge to avoid the landlord having to commercially clean them.

Check the inventory against the original with your landlord when you move out. You will be provided with a written statement and receipts to show what deductions have been made.

What if I don’t agree with the amount deducted?

If you disagree with some of the claims or amount taken out of your deposit then the tenancy deposit scheme that your landlord has used will offer a free service to sort disputes. Information on what to do if there is a dispute will be in your contract given to you at the start of the tenancy.

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