Your deposit is protected by law, make sure you get it back by ensuring a professional and independent inventory is completed. An independent inventory will protect you if a dispute arises at the end of a tenancy, disputes which is some cases means your deposit (or part of it) may be retained. In many cases the withholding of deposit doesn’t end up in dispute simply because the tenants do not know their rights or did not know they could challenge the decision.
So how can you prevent a situation where your deposit will be withheld?
Well, It is important to be informed and to know the circumstances in which a deposit can be legally withheld. This can happen if you have left the property in a poor or damaged condition, or if items listed in the inventory are missing. The landlord or the agency could also keep the deposit or a part of it in case you left unpaid bills that you were responsible for or have rent arrears. It is worth noting that even though your landlord has decided that withholding of your deposit is the right action, they have to provide you with breakdowns of the costs that you are responsible for. You can agree with their decision or you can object to it in which case the details will be sent to a dispute resolution service. The dispute resolution services provide mediation to help resolve conflict and prevent court involvement. Adjudicators rely heavily on the inventories to make their decision and contemplate ‘wear and tear’ versus actual damage.
An independent inventory combined with a thorough check out help protect both you and the landlord, as you can be assured of a fair and unbiased view of the property and should a dispute arise you will have the backing of a detailed inventory report which describes each and every part of the property and it’s condition at the start of the tenancy. Combine this with a detailed understanding of fair wear and tear you can be sure that any dispute results in a fair outcome for both you and the landlord.