One thing at the forefront of your mind will be how to get your full damage deposit back at the end of your tenancy. There are a few things to consider when thinking about your deposit return.
All of our tenancies are on a joint several and liable basis, which means that if one of you is in arrears, then you're all in arrears. Anything that is outstanding at the end of your tenancy will be deducted from your deposit. We would recommend that you all:
check your payment schedules.
check your bank account for rent and utility bill payments.
If you want to be completely sure, then contact your Property Supervisor, and they'll be able to advise on any outstanding payments on your account.
If a tenancy ends and we've not received payment for any maintenance works or call outs, then we'll put forward deductions from your deposit to cover the amount. If you aren't sure if you currently have any outstanding payments on your property, contact your Property Supervisor and they'll be able to advise you.
If any cleaning, decoration, or maintenance work is required at the end of your tenancy, you may be held responsible for the cost of this. Although, we will take into account any fair wear and tear that may have occurred. The best way to ensure that you get your full deposit back and are not charged for any works, is to take your inventory that you received at the start of your tenancy, go around the property and make sure that everything is left in the same condition. This is basically what we will do when we carry out our check out inspection.
The checkout inspection will generally take place the day after the tenancy has ended, or as close to as possible. Please bear in mind that this does mean you won't be able to re-enter the property to resolve any issues we pick up on the checkout inspection. So, make sure you are incredibly thorough when going around and doing your own checks.
The majority of our properties are pre-let, which means we only have a few days in which to get the properties ready for the tenants to move in. This means we have to get contractors in straight away, to avoid any delays in the new tenancies starting. As soon as we get through the cost of the work, we'll send through a breakdown to the lead tenant to make you aware of any deductions we are proposing to take from your deposit. We'll try to complete this process as quickly as possible, so you're not waiting too long to receive what moneys you are owed.
Anything that has been damaged by the tenants that could have been avoided, would not be classes as fair wear and tear. For example, if a door handle is loose, or a lock is sticky, this is not something that has been caused by the tenant, and would be classed as fair wear and tear. However, if we find that a wall needs to be decorated because the tenants have been sticking up posters using blue tack, then this would not be classed as fair wear and tear, as it is negligent and could have been avoided.
Your tenancy agreement states that light bulbs are the responsibility of the tenants. So, before you leave we recommend checking that all light bulbs in your property are working to avoid any unnecessary charges.
The best time to clean your property is once everything you own has been packed up and removed from the property. Most tenants will give the property a once over, but if things haven't been kept on top of during the tenancy this might not be enough for the property to be clean enough for new tenants to move in. Areas in particular that we find tend to get missed are:
under or behind furniture
window sills and frames
high level, such as on top of cupboards and wardrobes
defrosting and cleaning the freezer
deep cleaning of the oven
washing machine, including the tray
Make sure all of your keys are returned to the office on the day that your tenancy is due to end. If you're not able to make it to the office before closing, then make sure to place the keys into an envelope, which states the property address, and post it through our door, so we've received them before the inspection starts. We recommend having an appointed individual to drop off all the keys at the same time, rather than dropping each set in individually. If keys are not returned on time, new keys will need to be cut to ensure we have enough sets for the incoming tenants.
When you're going through your inventory, please ensure that you take anything that is not listed, unless it's something provided by the landlord during your tenancy. You might think that you are doing the next tenants a favour by leaving toasters or clothes airers, but by leaving them in the property, you'll be causing the landlord to be liable for replacing them if they were to become damaged. Any such items will be removed, and you will be charged for removal.
We want the process of returning your deposit to be as quick and easy as possible. The best way for you to help us do this is by leaving the property in a good condition when you leave.
If you still have any questions about the end of tenancy procedures, then please contact your Property Supervisor on 0191 243 1000 and they will be happy to discuss this with you in more detail.