Tenants: Security Deposits And How To Prepare For The End Of Your Tenancy

Moving to a new house is often considered to be one of the most stressful experiences we go through in our lifetime and having the additional pressure of not knowing if, or when, you’ll receive your security deposit back can only add to the stress.

It can be confusing to know exactly what you need to do, or what your responsibilities as a tenant are, to ensure you receive your deposit back. Legislation surrounding deposits stipulates that security deposits must be returned within 10 working days of both parties (landlord and tenant) agreeing the amount to be deducted, if any. However, getting to this stage can be tricky in certain circumstances.

In line with the Tenant Fee Act 2019, landlords can no longer have end-of-tenancy clauses asking for things explicitly such as the carpet to be cleaned, but they can ask that the property is returned in the same condition, less any wear and tear. With this in mind, it could be worth arranging for any remedial work to be done before you leave and providing your landlord or agent with a receipt to prove this.

We also recommend you track down your original schedule of condition and inventory (your agent should have a copy on file if you have lost yours!) and check the condition of each room before you leave. Most inventory clerks are pretty savvy and are able to track down items which have migrated rooms over the years but if they accidentally miss something then it could be recorded as missing on the check-out report.

Most landlords aren’t concerned about some light scuff marks on walls and consider these to be general wear and tear. However, it is always worth having a discussion with them or your agent to see what the landlord’s expectations are and to get these aligned before the check-out is completed.

Finally, if you’re worried then we always recommend speaking to your landlord and agent and arranging a ‘pre-checkout’. This is where they visit the property with you to discuss any potential problem areas and get everything straightened out before you move out. More often than not, it’s a case of landlords or agents reassuring tenants that the property is fine as it is!

If you have any specific queries or concerns, please feel free to contact our friendly team on 01747 416 516 and we’ll be happy to help.

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