Each month, UK tenants lose more than £15,000 in un-returned deposits from landlords according to Belvoir, Britain’s biggest independent lettings specialist. However, Belvoir says tenants need to realise that, if they follow a few golden rules, there is no reason why their deposits should not be returned in full at the end of a tenancy.
“There used to be a perception among those who rent that the chances of having their full deposit returned at the end of their tenancy were almost zero,” says Steve Tunney who owns the Milton Keynes franchise, one of more than 140 offices across the country. “But contrary to popular belief, the majority of landlords see deposits as exactly what they are – a way to guarantee that they will not be left out of pocket if their tenant turns out to be irresponsible, causes unnecessary damage to their property or fails to pay their rent for example.”
“Couple this with the legislation for tenancy deposit protection that was introduced in 2007 and it is clear to see that the system for putting down a deposit actually helps both landlords and tenants,” continued Steve. The legislation aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent and are entitled to receive some or all of it back at the end of their tenancy actually get it.
Belvoir, which works with and offers advice to both landlords and tenants, says that the landlords on its books would much prefer to be able to pay back any deposit money in full at the end of a tenancy. “That means that they have enjoyed a good tenant who has looked after the property and it saves them from having to make unnecessary and expensive repairs which often end up costing the landlord much more than the amount of the deposit anyway,” says Steve.
Belvoir says there are a few golden rules which tenants should follow to ensure they get their deposit money returned:
- Check with the landlord or lettings agent that your deposit is covered under an authorised tenancy deposit scheme
- Treat the rental property as if it were your own home
- Always pay your rent on time
- Read through any tenancy agreement carefully before signing to make sure you know what is and is not permitted under the terms of the rental agreement
- Go through any inventory carefully and note any missing items or repairs that need carrying out at the outset
- If anything does go wrong during your tenancy, advise your landlord or lettings agent without delay as prompt action can save time and money as well as hassle for yourself and the landlord
- Make sure that you leave the property in a clean condition. Landlords will check behind sofas and under beds so it’s not worth trying to scrimp on cleaning as you may risk losing some of your deposit to cover professional cleaning costs
- Honesty is often the best policy. If you damage something by accident tell your landlord – it may be covered by insurance or the landlord may be happy for you to replace the item with something similar
“If, as a tenant, you act according to the rules laid our in your tenancy agreement, your landlord has no right – and in the majority of cases no desire – to hold on to any of your deposit at the end of your tenancy,” advised Steve Tunney. “Tenants enjoy far greater protection nowadays from unscrupulous landlords and those who do lose deposit money do so because they have simply been irresponsible at some point during their tenancy.
For further information please contact Belvoir! Milton Keynes on 01908 562582 or via email at email@example.com