How To Keep Your Rental Deposit
Tenancy Deposit Schemes
By law, your landlord must put your rental deposit in one of the government-backed tenancy deposit schemes.
In England and Wales the schemes are:
- Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
- My Deposits
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
All Whitegates offices are registered members of at least one of the above schemes, so if you rent through us you can rest assured that your deposit will be protected.
However, there are certain conditions which mean tenants may not receive their deposit back. For example, if a landlord feels that a property has fallen into disrepair due to the tenants' actions or lack of care, the price of repairing those damages would be taken from the deposit.
If you treat the property with care you shouldn't have to worry about losing your deposit. Here are some tips to help you to ensure you keep your rental deposit at the end of your tenancy:
Read your tenancy agreement
Your tenancy agreement may be a bit lengthy but it's important that you read it. The agreement will lay out explicitly what is and isn't expected of you while living in the property. For example, some agreements will state that you cannot hang pictures on the walls, or that you must cut the grass regularly. Stick to the agreement and the rules set out by your landlord. If you are unsure about any of the conditions make sure that you discuss these with your Landlord or Letting Agent before signing.
Check the inventory
When you move into the property an inventory will be carried out to confirm the state of the property, and list any furniture or appliances that have been included. When you move out, the check-out report will be compared to the initial inventory to make sure that you have left the property in the same state in which you moved in. If you disagree with anything on the inventory make sure you take photographs and discuss this as soon as possible with your Landlord or Letting Agent.
Pay your bills
All utility bills are the tenant's responsibility unless your tenancy agreement states otherwise. If you don't keep on top of your bills you may have money deducted from your deposit when you move out - or even have your tenancy terminated early by your Landlord.
Some repairs and general maintenance will be covered by your Landlord, others you will need to sort out and pay for yourself. Always report any issues to your Landlord or Letting Agent at the earliest opportunity.
Keep it clean
If you leave the property in a mess and your Landlord has to hire a professional cleaner you are likely to have the costs deducted from your deposit. To make sure this doesn't happen keep on top of your housework - keep surfaces, kitchen appliances, bathrooms and carpets clean to avoid a build-up of grime.
Take belongings with you
When you move out of the property ensure that you take all possessions with you - including any rubbish and unwanted items. Any costs incurred by the Landlord for removal of items will most likely be deducted from your deposit.
If you have any queries about your deposit always speak to your Landlord or Letting Agent. Any disputes regarding the deposit can be lodged with the relevant tenancy deposit scheme.
Your local Whitegates office will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding deposits and the tenancy deposit schemes.