Making a security deposit of a fixed amount is a universal thing while renting a property. This amount is a kind of safety deposit which is refundable at the end of tenancy (EOT) period. Although, the landlord reserves the right to withhold this deposit at the end of tenancy if any clause(s) of the agreement is(are) found broken. Amongst others, the end of tenancy cleaning conditions is a major cause of disagreement.
Facts you should know
There are some legal standards being drafted in the tenancy agreement, but discretion can hold due to mutual understanding between the landlord and the tenant. Concerning this, the facts underneath will help you know what to expect:
- As per Landlord and Tenant Act of 2004, the landlord has certain key responsibilities and tenants cannot be held responsible for all maintenance and repairs.
- Landlord cannot force tenants to use professional cleaning services, unless otherwise being mutually agreed upon.
- Law states that tenancy deposit is a property of tenant and during tenancy period, neither tenant nor owner has access to it.
- In a perfect scenario, the owner can’t make any deductions from the tenancy deposit. They can only withhold it in case of disagreement or dispute. Once resolved, the complete amount needs to be paid to the tenant.
- The deductions can only be made in the case,
- Tenant agrees
- Dispute resolution
- If court orders
For a hassle-free EOT cleaning
In the United Kingdom, insufficient after tenancy cleaning leads to about 56% of deposit disputes in the country. While moving in, if the property was handed over after being cleaned, it is expected same from you when your tenancy period ends. And believe me, it is a task that needs your complete attention. Regular mopping and dusting will prevent unrepairable and costlier depreciation of the house and other issued stuff. Though there are some hard to control cleaning such as mold.
Just so you do not face the chaos, this is how you can prepare yourself for the moving out day, with undisputed security deposit:
- While occupying the property, read the tenancy inventory report carefully. This will help you compare the state of the property during your course of living.
- Faults in the provided infrastructure, systems, furnishing, etc. must be immediately informed before they lead to irreparable damage.
- There are frequent inspections of the property by the owner or the property agents. Make sure you point out all the damages or leakages. It is also necessary that all these damages and repairs be pictured and documented.
- Tenant must invest time in the frequent & rigorous cleaning of refrigerators, cupboards, gardens, windows, bathroom tiles for molds, etc.
- As tenancy approaches expiration, an end of tenancy cleaning checklist is always a good idea.
- If you decide to use professional cleaning services, do not forget to take a receipt of the service.
Disagreements can happen but with little organization and knowledge, the unpleasantness can be avoided. What’s fair, needs to be accepted from both the sides.