Common reasons for not getting rental deposit back

(24 Posts)
Sammysees Sun 12-Jan-20 11:42:04

I’m due to move out of my rental property in the next couple of weeks. It’s my first rental and I am desperate to get all of my deposit back (over £900). Has anyone any experience of reasons why they keep some/all of the deposit? Obviously I’m going to give it a deep clean/clean oven/windows etc. The grout looks a little shabby tho. Is that a reason?

OP’s posts: |
mencken Sun 12-Jan-20 11:50:13

English landlord here. (rules are different Wales/Scotland anywhere else)

England - read your how to rent guide.

assuming the deposit is protected in one of the three schemes (if not, sue) then the scheme is biased towards the tenant, as it should be because it is your money. You should have had a notification of which scheme (if not, you can sue). If you didn't, it doesn't take long to contact all three.

for any deductions, landlord has to prove damage (not wear and tear). Unless there is a detailed inventory at check in and check out this is almost impossible, although a dodgy landlord may try it on. If that happens, just follow the dispute procedure.

shabby grout/needing repainting/carpets worn due to walking on them etc etc is wear and tear.

clean up, remove all your stuff including rubbish, make good any holes in walls but do not repaint (that's betterment) and that's it really. Take meter readings on departure day and close the accounts, do the same for council tax. Set up a post redirect and get a signature for returned keys.

job done.

Newfloorlamp Sun 12-Jan-20 11:51:45

You'll be fine unless you have actively damaged something. Your money is protected in the scheme and isn't there to cover fair wear and tear. I rented for years and never lost deposit money. Make sure you check your contract in case you eg have to have carpets professionally cleaned before giving the keys back. If you want reassurance you could see if the agent will come have a quick look around with you before you go so they can confirm the property is in good condition and you'll be getting your money straight back.

Marshymallowy Sun 12-Jan-20 11:55:32

If you want reassurance you could see if the agent will come have a quick look around with you before you go so they can confirm the property is in good condition and you'll be getting your money straight back

I did that once and the thieving bastards still took £60! For "cleaning", though they couldn't tell me what they'd had to clean hmm. Suspect they automatically hired cleaners after each tenancy then pushed the cost back to the tenants. I spent days cleaning that place, it was spotless.

mencken Sun 12-Jan-20 11:57:31

that would be illegal now, tenancy fees act.

Sammysees Sun 12-Jan-20 12:50:46

Thank you. You have put my mind at rest. Although I’ve already filled the holes in the walls where I put shelves up (they left the paint in the garage so I painted over the filler). I have an inventory and a deposit scheme so thankful for your input.

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mencken Mon 13-Jan-20 10:09:12

sounds like all should be fine. Kind of you to touch up the paintwork - what you certainly don't need to do is a full room repaint.

make sure you read up the latest how to rent guide (on for the next property if you are renting again.

IDontDrinkTea Mon 13-Jan-20 10:28:17

Make sure you leave working lightbulbs - my friend was charged £40 a bulb 🙄 apparently that’s the cost of a new bulb, plus the time it takes to send someone to a shop, buy the correct ones and go and screw them in

Sammysees Mon 13-Jan-20 10:55:28

Thank you Mencken. I am buying now so hopefully my rental days are over!
£40 for a bulb?!?!?! I will definitely make sure all the bulbs are working 😂

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NormaSnorks Mon 13-Jan-20 11:10:58

Do you have a garden/ terrace etc? This should be in a similar condition to when you arrived - hedges cut, lawn neat and free of weeds etc.

johnd2 Mon 13-Jan-20 12:28:50

40 pounds a bulb would be easy to challenge, could be 40 pounds for the first bulb or other item needed from the shop and 2.50 for every subsequent bulb or other item.

Sammysees Mon 13-Jan-20 15:02:37

No garden, it’s a flat.

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mencken Mon 13-Jan-20 15:07:34

40 quid a bulb? while that is the cost of time, landlords can't charge for that nor can they take the piss over costs.

but easily avoided by leaving all bulbs working with a trip to Poundland.

Instagrrr Mon 13-Jan-20 18:27:35

Take dated pictures of everything. It’s a lot harder for agencies to do stuff like this nowadays.

Sammysees Mon 13-Jan-20 19:56:48

Do you get a walkthrough with the agent when you hand your keys over? Because they could say anything after you’ve gone! Taking pictures is a great idea. Thanks!

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Sammysees Tue 14-Jan-20 16:05:07

Feeling pretty gutted today. The tenant in the property I am buying is refusing to move out. He had a section 21 two months ago so it looks like it will have to go down the court route which could take weeks/months? I’m all packed and ready to go 😢

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mencken Wed 15-Jan-20 13:16:46

ah, not good news, although this tenant has a perfect right to do this. You are looking at 4-6 months depending on where you are; overloaded court system and bailiffs.

your solicitor should have warned you of this - and you certainly cannot and should not exchange contracts until the place is vacant or you'll be the new landlord. Also be aware that sometimes this results in a trashed property.

Either ask your current landlord if you can stay on or rent somewhere else. Sorry.

WeHaveSnowdrops Wed 15-Jan-20 13:23:04

ah, not good news, although this tenant has a perfect right to do this.

Time for a change in the law. Tenants like the slefish over-stayers make life more difficult for decent tenants.

Sammysees Wed 15-Jan-20 14:42:21

He apparently had a section 21 notice 2 months ago but yes still looking at 2 to 4 months. He was told back in September so has had plenty of notice. Just when I thought I’d got back on my feet. Devastated.

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mencken Wed 15-Jan-20 14:50:25

sorry, but that's how it is - and if he is waiting to the bailiff (which he will have to do if he wants council housing) 4 months is most unlikely, let alone 2. He's not overstaying, a section 21 is just a notice of legal action if he doesn't leave. Landlords can't end tenancies, only tenants and bailiffs can.

This really should not have been a surprise, sounds like you have a useless solicitor.

WeHaveSnowdrops Wed 15-Jan-20 15:22:16

I hope the LL escalates it to the High Court and gets them out on their arses. It really shouldn't be this easy for tenants to be pricks.

Sammysees Wed 15-Jan-20 16:38:17

I guess I am pretty naive about this sort of stuff. It didn’t occur to me that he wouldn’t leave. And yes my solicitor should have warned me at the start of this process.

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TiddleTaddleTat Wed 15-Jan-20 17:22:14

Haven't RTFT but I've been a tenant numerous times and a landlord too. As long as you have done your basic cleaning and reported maintenance issues you should be fine.
I've had landlords make dumb claims for the deposit and have challenged it twice via the DPS mediation and had the money back.
I never needed to retain the deposit as a landlord.

TiddleTaddleTat Wed 15-Jan-20 17:23:08

Oops sorry just seen the thread has moved on... hope it works out OP X

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