388a Bowthorpe Road, Norwich, NR5 8AG

How do I make sure I get all my deposit back?

The end of a tenancy is a busy time; whether it’s thinking about your next home or all the tasks involved in leaving your current one, it’s easy to overlook the key things that need to happen to ensure that you get your full tenancy deposit back.

Where tenancies are ‘Jointly and severally liable’, usually in shared and student houses, this can be even more complicated, as people can be leaving at different times, and different people might have different standards when it comes to cleanliness. If you are on a joint contract, your tenancy deposit will also be shared, and so it is essential to work as a team, and ensure that the whole house is handed back in the required condition, not just your room. If you are the cleanest/tidiest person, this can be hard, but the worst thing you can do is clean your room and leave the rest to the others, or you could find yourself sharing the cost of cleaning the rest of the house, or worse.

Landlords and Letting Agents will typically perform a check out on the day the last person leaves the property (or shortly after). It is how the agent/landlord finds the property on that visit that will determine how much of your deposit you get back, so here are our 5 things to look out for when getting your house ready for check out:

  1. Inadequate cleaning 
    This is so obvious, but the property needs to be cleaned to the same standard as when you moved in. This includes defrosting freezers, bleaching showers and loos, scrubbing the oven, moving and cleaning under and behind furniture and appliances in the kitchen – it’s not a one-man job.  End of tenancy cleans from local companies cost around £145 for a 4 bed house regardless of the condition (just £36.25 each), or £10 per hour, so you may want to consider paying a cleaner yourselves, to ensure the property is cleaned to a sufficient standard
  2. Leaving things behind
    Your own rubbish or belongings can be disposed of for free at any recycling centre or in the wheelie bin. But to an agent or landlord, this becomes trade waste that must be paid for, not to mention the cost of their time in removing it, which could involve a van or even a skip! Take EVERYTHING with you, and don’t leave things for the next tenants thinking they will want them – they won’t!
  3. Blu Tac Marks
    This is so common in student houses where tenants use blu tac to put up photos or posters.  Blue tac leaves a greasy stain, and must be cleaned with sugar soap before repainting.  If you leave marks like this in your house, the landlord is likely to need to bring in a decorator, who will charge a minimum of £120 + materials.  Make sure you fill any holes and paint those too. Most rented houses are painted in white and magnolia, so the paint is easy to find, and make sure you do the whole wall.
  4. Missing keys
    Often new tenants will be coming in hot on the heels of you leaving.  If you don’t return all your keys on or by the final check out, you will find yourselves having to pay for replacements, even if you still have yours or they have been posted back to the landlord – they need to be there at check out, or the landlord will need to cut another set, and guess who will be paying for that.
  5. Gardening
    If you have been supplied with a lawnmower, then you will be responsible for cutting the grass, and this should be done before leaving.  However, all tenants will be responsible for pulling up weeds in paths, gravel etc. as these don’t require any tools.  Unless you have been supplied with a gardening service, you will need to prepare the garden as well as the house, and take the rubbish away.

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