How To Make Sure You Get Your Rental Deposit Returned*


*This is a collaborative post*

One thing is for sure in life -  and that’s circumstances changing. Whether you’re relocating for a new job, have found a romantic partner you want to live with or have managed to save enough money for a deposit to buy a home, it's likely that you’ll be moving out of a rental property at some point and into your dream home. When this happens, one thing will be crucially important - guaranteeing the return of your rental deposit. This is usually a significant amount of money that you will be needing in your new life, so of course it’s natural to be a little nervous until it's safely transferred back into your account. It doesn’t have to be entirely down to chance though - follow these tips and you’re far more likely to get your money back and be able to move on happily.

Check Your Lease Agreement

The very first thing you should do is pull out a copy of your lease agreement and go through it carefully. Each lease contains a standard clause on the conditions of terminating your rental arrangement, so make sure that you know exactly what yours says. It should specify how much notice you have to give your landlord or lettings agency when you intend to move out,  and there may also be specific requirements included, such as cleaning the property, reversing any decorative changes you’ve made to the house or dropping off the keys.

Give Your Notification

Next, notify your landlord of when you intend to leave, as per the terms of your rental agreement. It's easy to find sample letters to leave a rental home and adapt them to your details. Give your new address for any post to be forwarded or in case they need to contact you about something, and take a copy of the letter as well as sending by recorded delivery. This is to ensure there can be no excuses about notice not being received. Of course, you can also send this by email if you have the relevant information.Make sure your letter or email will be received within the notification period specified in your contract, or you may find that your lease auto-renews.
Make Sure It’s Spotless

Many people end up trying to claim a rental security deposit back in court, so don’t be that person, however nice your landlord has always seemed. If your deposit is a large sum, it's definitely worth finding an end of tenancy cleaning service to ensure your pad is professionally flawless. Make sure you touch up things like scuffs to paintwork or kitchen counters, and deep clean the carpets. Scrub the stove top and invest a little in an oven cleaning kit to get rid of baked on dirt. A grouting pen can help you touch up the bathroom so that it looks as good as new.  It’s also a good idea to take dated photographs when you move out as evidence of the state that you left the place in. 

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Image via Pexels - CC0 Licence

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