Top tips for getting your deposit back

Ensure your landlord never unfairly withholds your hard-earned cash

4 minute read2021-07-21
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Anyone who’s moved out of a rental property will know that getting a deposit back isn’t always plain sailing. You’ve looked after your home, even if it wasn’t in the best condition to begin with. However, your landlord is digging in their heels over returning your deposit. Here’s what you can do to get it back.

1. Take photos

This is one of the most important things you can do to secure your deposit. Take photos of everything in a rented home as soon as you move in – or even before, if possible. You should get photos of any damage or wear and tear so you can’t be accused of causing it when your tenancy ends. Your photos are your evidence and any landlord would be hard pressed to dispute them.

2. Keep the place clean while you’re there

You shouldn’t just tidy up before you move out, but more on that later. You should treat your rented home with respect and treat it like it’s your own. By keeping the place tidy, you’re less likely to cause premature wear and tear, which works in your favour for getting your deposit back at the end of your tenancy.

3. Check your contract

All contracts have different terms and conditions and these may affect the return of your deposit. For example, some contracts may require you to paint the walls before moving out, whereas others won’t. Check these details and stick to them so you’re on solid ground when it comes to getting your money back.

4. Make the place sparkle before you move out

Regardless of what your contract requires you do before moving out, make sure you leave the place in a clean and tidy condition. If you leave rubbish or stains on the carpet or walls when you move out, you’re going to have a hard time getting your deposit back.

5. Notify your landlord about your deposit

It’s always good to let your landlord know that you’ll be wanting your deposit back. Landlords often have multiple properties and it can be difficult for them to stay on top of all details. By letting them know, you’re setting expectations early on and hopefully reducing the likelihood of any disputes at a later date.

6. Pay any reasonable fees

After living somewhere for a while, it’s normal for stuff to become damaged. Accidents happen, after all. If you do damage something, you should bite the bullet and pay for it. If you refuse, the situation may escalate with the landlord withholding the entire deposit. However, never get talked into paying for something that’s unjust.

7. Be present for any inspections

Your landlord will conduct an inspection of the property to check for any damage. Make sure you’re there too. This ensures that you see what the landlord sees. It’s much easier to discuss things in person rather than via a stream of texts or emails. Plus, it keeps both of you honest.

What if none of this works?

Most landlords are reasonable and will return your deposit. However, there are always some situations where this isn’t the case – even though you’ve done everything right. This is where insurance comes to the rescue. Fortunately, Getsafe has your needs covered. Did you know that the Home extension for Getsafe Legal insurance covers you against disputes with your landlord as well as at work, in traffic, and in your private life? Find out more today!

    Author: Jacob