Ending your tenancy? How to make sure you get back your full deposit
Have you given us notice that you want to end your tenancy? Have you heard all sorts of horror stories about nasty agencies unfairly taking your deposit and leaving you with nothing? Fear not, because following the steps below will ensure that you won’t be left out of pocket.
Your deposit is held by an independent Tenancy Deposit Scheme and, contrary to popular belief, the final decision on any deductions lies with their independent adjudicator and not with your landlord or us, as their agent.
1) Be honest with the condition of the property
Cast your mind all the way back to the day you moved into the property. You would have met one of our inventory clerks from Pinstripe who handed you over the keys and you would have seen them taking various pictures in every room. This was part of your check-in inventory and this will have been e-mailed to you from Pinstripe Inventories. Have a look back at that link now and the condition the property was noted in.
Now have a look at the property. Have you spilled some tomato soup on the rug in the living room? Did your straighteners leave a small burn mark in the bedroom carpet? Have you left blu tac and pin marks in walls that were freshly painted when you moved in? You will need to be honest with yourself about any damage that has been caused while you were in the property as we will have to compensate by the landlord for this.
Don’t worry, we won’t make you buy a new carpet. We will look at the length of your tenancy, the condition the damaged item was in at the start and the condition it is in now. Every item in a household has a life expectancy so we will look at the life expectancy of the damaged item and the extent of the damage caused and take a nominal charge for this. We would only charge for a replacement item if it is severely damaged.
For example, the life expectancy of a couch is around 10 years but at the check out it has been severely damaged and needs to be replaced. If a replacement was £400 the couch would depreciate in value by £40 per year. If the couch is 4 years old, the landlord could have expected a further 6 years of use and so fairly the tenant could be expected to compensate the landlord by
40 x 6 = £240
Generally it will be cheaper for you to replace the damaged item rather than have us do it on your behalf at the end of the tenancy, especially when we have to factor in delivery and assembly costs. Contact our office if a bigger item is damaged, ie flooring, and we will put you in touch with a contractor who can help you with the repair.
2) Make sure the cleaning is up to standard
Time and time again we have tenants certain that they have cleaned the property to a commercial standard 5 and yet the inventory clerks find it to be a low domestic 3/4 . We need the property to be at the grade it was given to you in. If your check in says that the property was a 5 then it must be a 5 on the check out or we will have to send our cleaners in at your expense. We will send you cleaning instructions once you have given us notice. Make sure everything on that list has been cleaned – think clean the woodwork, flooring, windows, replace any lightbulbs and scrub at that crispy bit that’s inside your microwave. Or better yet, contact our cleaners Bluestone or MDC Eco-friendly to complete the clean for you. This way if the property comes back as below a 5, we will send our cleaners back in for no further charge. You can contact Bluestone on www.bluestone-cleaners.co.uk; 07512 311 322 and MDC Eco-friendly on www.mdc-ecoclean.com; 0800 6990 034.
If your property has a garden and it is not properly maintained when you leave we will instruct a gardener to complete the works at your expense.
3) Make sure your items are removed and the landlord’s are not
We will have to charge for the removal of any items you have left behind unless you have written approval to leave them there. In the same way, any missing items that initially belonged to the landlord will need to be replaced.
Always get approval before you dispose of any landlord items. If the toaster is very old and you have a nice new one, you will still need to ask us for permission to dispose of the original one so that we are not looking for it at the check out.
4) Make sure you are not leaving a debt
If there are prepayment meters in the property make sure that these are not left in a debit, and have the same credit as when you moved in. Make sure you do not currently owe the office any monies as you will be liable for these costs.
5) Also be aware of any overpayment
If you forget to cancel your standing order we do not have the authority to do this for you. You will have to contact our office and we will pay back any overpayment made by you, however, you will be charged £20 +VAT for the extra administration work needed.
6) Reaching the final agreement
If you’ve followed all of the above you have done everything you can to get back every penny of your original deposit. Remember we are not looking to take money from you. We represent the landlord AND the tenant and we are as fair as possible to both parties.
As part of this commitment to providing a transparent and unbiased service we use an independent company to carry out our Check In and Check Out inspections. Once we have collated all of the information we report back with our recommendations to both you and your landlord.
In some cases we are called upon to negotiate an agreement between you and your landlord at the end of your tenancy. If no agreement can be reached then you can submit a dispute online to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the decision is passed to their independent adjudicator. Both parties must submit evidence for their dispute and then a verdict is made. More information can be found about Alternative Dispute Resolution by clicking on the following link:
We wish you all the best with your move and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Property Manager.