When you decide to rent your new home, you’ll be asked to pay a tenancy deposit before you can move in. At the start of a tenancy, there should be a check-in procedure with your new landlord or letting agent.
The tenancy deposit serves as a guarantee for the landlord. It covers any out of pocket expenses incurred for breakages, damage and cleaning to the property. Landlords are required, by law, to protect tenancy deposits in deposit protection schemes. These schemes are backed and authorised by the government and hold the tenancy deposit until your tenancy ends.
When your tenancy ends, the deposit protection scheme helps you to reclaim your money. The tenancy deposit funds will cover any missing rent or damage to the property when you leave.
Moving In Day
Spend time going through the check-in itinerary with either your landlord or rental agent. It’s important that your tenancy starts with everyone in agreement about the condition of the property.
Take photos of any existing stains, scuffs or anything that isn’t in the state you’d expect it to be in. Pay particular attention to any marks or holes in the curtains, carpets or upholstery. Don’t forget to check for cracks in walls or doors and remember to inspect the condition of the light fittings too.
Bathrooms can be prone to problems, so make sure you check for mould, leaky taps or odd smells coming from the drains!
Once you’ve checked everything inside, you can review the outside areas too. Ensure you inspect the bin storage facilities, patio, gates, balconies, outside buildings, hosepipes, gutters and drainage.
There’s a lot to get through and you’ll probably just want to get your keys and relax.
But being thorough and taking time to check everything now will help you get your tenancy deposit back later on.
Make A Note
Notify your landlord and/or agent of any of the details that you’re concerned about. If necessary, supply copies of your photos with a description of what you think needs to be done and a sensible timescale for getting the work done.
Rather than trying to email a huge batch of photos, why not use a Dropbox folder or you could use a service like WeTransfer.
During your Tenancy
Hopefully, you’ll have a smooth start to your tenancy and enjoy your new home for many months or years.
The work you put in at the beginning of your tenancy will certainly pay off when you come to leave.
Continue to update your Landlord or agent about the condition of the property, when necessary, throughout your tenancy.
Again, you’ll need to photograph any areas that you think might be called into question once you’ve vacated the property.
Remember that fair wear and tear over a lengthy period is acceptable – burns from hair straighteners and plaster missing from dodgy picture hooks isn’t.
If you were thorough at the beginning of your tenancy, you and your Landlord should be on the same page about repairs. A landlord can’t later charge for a legitimate request for repair if they failed to fix it.
Things to remember
- Avoid damaging walls with hanging pictures or Blutack
- Take care of the furnishings (if included)
- You will be responsible for changing the lightbulbs
- Keep the garden neat and tidy
- Maintain all internal decoration, appliances and furniture (if included)
- If you’re going away during very cold winter periods, turn the water off to prevent pipes from freezing
- Remember to replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
- Don’t have pets in your rented property unless you’ve got written agreement from you landlord
- Ventilate and heat the property to make sure it doesn’t succumb to mould
Getting carpets and furnishings cleaned is cited in 53% of all end of tenancy deposit disputes
Source: The Dispute Service
Hiring a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner can give you peace of mind and save you money in the long run. Why risk your tenancy deposit when you can book The Rutland Cleaning Company for a professionally certified end-of-tenancy clean.