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Top 10 rental deposit tips

The tenancy deposit is YOUR deposit not the landlords. Here are some top tenantstips tips on keeping it!. You should get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy, your landlord should have given you an inventory when you moved into the rental property and your landlord should follow the tenancy deposit laws - make sure they do .

You will be expected to provide a tenancy depositwhen you rent a property

This tenancy deposit is usually the same as the monthly rent but maybe more, but whatever the amount, all of that amount must be registered.

Since 6 April 2007 tenancy deposit law says tenancy deposits must be protected under one of the government authorised tenancy deposit schemes. Your tenancy deposit must have tenant deposit protection under one of the approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.

This also applies if you have renewed your tenancy agreement after that date when you provided a deposit before 6th April 2007.

You must be given written notification of what tenant deposit protection scheme is being used within 14 days of taking the tenacy deposit.

If your landlord or agent has taken a deposit which needs to be protected, but has not done so you can go to court and obtain a court order that he refund the deposit to you, or protect it via the custodial scheme and pay a fine to you of three times the value of the deposit within 14 days. the contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme, other details include,the contact details of the landlord or agent, how to apply for the release of the deposit, information explaining the purpose of the deposit and what to do if there is a dispute about the deposit

Make sure you get an inventory of items and a schedule of condition of the property and the items supplied.

As deposits are can be used to pay for any damage you cause you must , check the contents and condition of the property carefully against the inventory as soon as you move in. If you find anything that is damaged or in poor condition that is not indicated as such on the inventory then make sure you notify this to the landlord immediately in writing, and keep a copy of the letter.

If items need replacing due to wear and tear while you are in the property let the landlord know

Don’t forget that you will be responsible for the cost of the repair or replacement of items damaged by you but not due to wear and tear so tell the landlord about such things and they cant blame you later.

Take photos before and after the tenancy and make sure they are date stamped.

These will help you prove your case in the event of any claim. Also at the end, leave the property in good condition and have a friend along as a witness to the condition in case of spurious claims by the landlord later. Photos help in this case.

If the landlord makes damage or other claims that you do not agree with, contact the scheme administrators for your tenancy deposit scheme.

Most landlords simply hope you will give up and go away. DON’T. Ask for the matter to be referred to arbitration. DO NOT DELAY, as there may be a time limit for doing this. Ensure you follow the scheme rules for making your claim.

Within 10 days – you should have received the agreed amount of the deposit.

If not contact your landlord or agent immediately

If your landlord fails to respond, consider taking legal action.

Inform your landlord you will be making a claim through the Small Claims Court. This is not a difficult or costly exercise so don’t be too daunted by it and as long as you are in the right you will win, get your money back and all your costs .

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