Top 3 ways to get your deposit back

Will Leyland, 22 October 2021

First and foremost, this is on the working assumption that you’ve worked through a reputable agent and landlord. All being well, one of the most stressful aspects of moving from a privately rented property can be the process of applying for your deposit back.

In most cases, both parties act in good faith and the process is quick and respectful. That being said, both parties often have an interest in ensuring that their interests are covered.

In the UK, most private rentals are covered by deposit protection legislation, meaning that your landlord must, by law, place your security deposit under the supervision of a deposit protection scheme.

That means that both you and the landlord must adhere to strict guidelines about how you get your money back. The landlord, in broad terms, has the right to expect their property be returned to them in the state they let it out to you.

On your part you have the right to expect that the landlord won’t take an excessive amount out of your deposit to cover things you’re not responsible for, such as standard repairs.

In any case, this is the one area that tends to cause the most conflict, so here are our top 3 tips for a smooth transition.

Cleaning is key

If you feel confident in your cleaning abilities then by all means you can do your best to clean your property from top to bottom but, of course, the landlord is expecting to have to do fairly minimal cleaning work to get the property ready for the next tenant.

What that means is a quick hoover around and a dust won’t cut the mustard. We’re talking a full oven clean, for example, and making sure the place is in the same sort of state that you’d expect to find when you move into a new place.

The point we’re making is, is it perhaps worth getting a cleaning company in? It’s not always necessary but for the sake of £50-£100 it can sometimes be worth the sacrifice to ensure it’s in the right place when you leave.

Not just that, if a dispute does arise, you can produce an invoice to show you’d done as much as you reasonably could,

Carpets need a proper clean

In our experience, carpets often tend to be the main bone of contention.

Let’s get specific here – landlords know that they’re liable to expect reasonable wear and tear. If you’ve lived in your property for three years, for example, it’s simply not reasonable for a landlord to expect it to be in the same condition as you moved in.

Having said that, major stains, rips or other damage are your responsibility, so if you’re aware of major differences or damage to the carpet it might be worth getting a specialist in to repair it before you start the process of claiming back your deposit.

The devil is in the detail

You’re really not expected to manage every minor tedious detail of property management but there are some things that you’d be surprised are your responsibility.

As an example, light bulbs need to be replaced because, under the law, landlords are allowed to charge you a reasonable amount for the replacement of broken lightbulbs. Similarly, if you have the use of a fireplace then don’t leave soot and debris in the grate, clean it out.

Curtain rails are another thing, if they’re not quite working then bite the bullet and have them fixed or replace them. Whilst, understandably, landlords are totally expected to be reasonable with you, in return you should be aware of some of the smaller things you need to take care of.

If you have further queries about your deposit or any other queries about renting a property, get in touch with us today!


Will Leyland, 22 October 2021