Home Front logoQ.  I recently moved out of my rental apartment and for the last few weeks I have been battling with my agent to get my deposit released. The problem is they say that the cleaning was not adequate when I vacated, but I disagree, I really think it was fine when I left. So we are locking heads and this is going nowhere fast. Is there anything I can do to get this resolved fairly?

A.  Firstly I would question whether an independent Inventory checkout was carried out as this really is the basis for a fair appraisal on checkout. The inventory clerk will neither favour the tenant nor the Landlord rather giving a fair appraisal of the condition of the property and ultimately his comments on the schedule are what determines if there will be any dilapidations or not. Regulated agents should always endeavour to reach a satisfactory conclusion where both the tenant and the landlord agree any dilapidations if any. However it sounds like you cannot agree with their proposals? Assuming that you rented through a regulated agent and that your deposit was protected within one of the governments three approved schemes then you can pursue this via your deposit protector. All three of the schemes have independent adjudicators that offer a dispute resolution service which aims to resolve any disputes quickly and effectively without the need for court action. If you do decide to go down this route then simply get in touch with your deposit protector to get the ball rolling, they will give you instructions on the next steps. Your agent will then be contacted by the scheme and asked to send the disputed part of the deposit to them. Meanwhile the undisputed amount can be returned to you at this stage. From here on in the independent adjudicator will handle the case and make the final decision on your case. Of course they will require further information surrounding the case from both parties in order to carry out their necessary investigations to ensure a fair and just decision is made.

Go to www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview for more information on Government backed schemes