How to get your deposit back?


If you’re a tenant, then more often than not, one of your biggest concern is ensuring that you get that hefty tenancy deposit you paid back at the end of your tenancy. We’ve written this article to help you increase your chances of getting 100% of it back!


On a side note, as a letting agent, the check out process is the worst part of the job, for me anyway. No one likes their deposit deducted, and I get sworn at and threatened, which i'm used to and if the Tenant doesn't pay, then the Landlord has to pay and again, we get sworn at, threatened, etc, so its not great. If the property is given back in the same or better condition, then no deductions are made. 

7 TOP TIPS to look out for

1. Inside the oven and fridge freezer - a standard oven clean charge is £65. 


2. Limescale on shower screens and chrome taps. 


3. Light bulbs, we can charge £65 for one light bulb. WHAT !?! YOU MUST BE JOKING ?!?! ... YOU ARE RIPPING ME OFF !?!?!? ... Well, we have to pay a contractor to attend the property (£60 call out charge) to find out what type of light bulb it is, drive using their petrol and time to B&Q, queue up and pay and drive back and fit the light bulb. £65 is cheap. The tenant is fully liable for light bulbs and batteries in smoke alarms. 


4. The garden needs to be cut back and look the same or better, than when you took the property. 


5. Items & Rubbish - Please do not use the recycle bin for your general rubbish. The council will not take it and we have to pay a contractor circ. £75-£120 to attend, clean out the stinky bin and take the contents to the local rubbish tip. 


6. Skirting boards get dusty and windows inside and out. 


7. Make sure you look at the Inventory. The furniture needs to be back in the same room as the start of the tenancy and same condition. 


The deposit deductions have to be fair and we will always listen to your point of view and argument to negotiate these deductions. 


Clean during the year

This may sound ridiculously obvious, but it definitely helps not to have to tackle a whole year’s worth of grime two days before you move out.


Report Damages Immediately

If you’ve got damages or appliance malfunctions, make sure to report them (At Clifftons, you can do this through our website here). Take photos. Email your landlord or letting agent and keep a copy of that email.



Process + Timescales

The day you move out, you will need to hand ALL keys back into our office. If you are late handing the keys back, you will be charged additional rent. 


After we receive keys, we normally carry out the check out inventory 24-48 hours after you have left. 


We will then prepare a deposit schedule and review this with you. All going well, you will receive you deposit back within 7 days. 


If after negotiations, we fail to reach an agreement, the case will go into dispute and we have to send the tenancy agreement, inventory, check out and prepare a case. You then have 14 day to review this and respond. This is then sent to yourselves and we have another 14 days to review and respond. This is then put in line and an adjudicator will review the file and may ask for additional information. This process normally takes circ. 4 months. 


The easiest, quickest and smoothest way is to put some work and effort in when leaving the property. 


Why a Tenancy Deposit Must Be Five Weeks’ Rent or Less

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has capped tenancy deposits at 5 weeks’ rent as a maximum. So, any tenancy deposits made over 5 weeks’ rent while setting up a new tenancy will be considered a ‘prohibited payment’, and this can incur a fine to the Landlord.


What Counts as Evidence in a Tenancy Deposit Dispute?

Landlords can require deductions for a range of reasons, so a range of evidence can be accepted during the process. Some common forms of evidence include the Tenancy Agreement, bank statements, utility & council tax bills, inventory reports, photographs/videos of the property, email correspondences, cleaning charges, witness statements.


Lastly, and most importantly, we are a very friendly bunch of people here and if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us. 


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