Leaving a rented property: how to ensure you get your full deposit back

Sofa Set

When you sign up to move into a rented property, you will pay a set deposit. This normally equates to around 4 to 6 weeks’ rent, but the amount can vary. The deposit is held as a guarantee that you will look after the property and that, when you move out, will return it in the same condition in which you moved into it.

Many of us will have heard horror stories from friends or family about landlords or letting agencies withholding large amounts, or sometimes the entire deposit, for any number of different reasons, some of which can seem absurd.

With a significant sum of money at stake, you will want to do everything you can to ensure you get as much of your initial deposit back as possible. We have outlined three simple tips to follow to help increase the chances of getting your full deposit back upon leaving a rented property:

Fill in your inventory and take lots of photographs

When you move in, your landlord or letting agency should provide an inventory, which you will be expected to sign. This is normally a list of furniture within the property, but it is a great time to list any pre-existing wear and tear to the property. Make sure you fill in the inventory in detail, listing any current issues, to ensure you don’t get charged for them upon leaving.

It is also advisable to take lots of photos upon moving in and moving out, so you have photographic evidence of the “before and after” of your time in the property.

Read your contract carefully

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving into a new property and not give your contract your full attention, but this is a risky move. Make sure you carefully read your entire contract before signing, to check exactly what is expected of you regarding the return of your deposit, to reduce the chance of any nasty surprises when you move out!

Keep on top of the cleaning!

By making an effort to clean your house or flat regularly while you live there, you will have much less to do upon vacating the property. It is tempting to skip cleaning, hoping somebody else will do it, but these small tasks can soon mount up. Moving out can be a stressful experience, so the last thing you want is to have to spend a huge chunk of your time cleaning up several months’ worth of built-up mess and dirt!

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