Q. I’m a first time tenant that is moving out of my current property to relocate closer to my job. Can you give me a rundown of what I am legally required to do in order for things to go smoothly and for me to receive my deposit back intact?
A. So, you’ve come to the end of your time at the property. First of all remember, you need to provide two months’ notice in writing to your landlord, stating your intention to vacate the property. Now that you have decided it’s time to leave it’s worth putting in a bit of work to get the property up to scratch to maximise the chances of getting your full deposit back. As long as the condition of the property is the same as when you moved in (barring normal wear and tear), you’ll have no problem. First things first – arrange for a professional clean throughout, including carpets, windows, walls and furniture, ovens and fridge freezers. If it’s your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish. Remove all of your personal belongings from the property, if you don’t do this and leave items behind that you no longer require you could be charged to have these removed once you have vacated. Be satisfied you’re leaving the property as you found it. Your Agent or Landlord will arrange an appointment with a professional inventory clerk to attend the property to carry out a check out, he will also record your meter readings too. You’ll have the opportunity to run through the inventory checklist on the day of departure. It’s important that this job is done before you leave the property to avoid you being accountable for any damage that occurs after you’ve left. If there is any damage to the property, this will need to be paid for and you will need to agree with the landlord the cost of repairing or replacing such items. By law the landlord or the agent must tell the tenant within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy if they propose to withhold any of the deposit. The landlord/agent should attempt to resolve the dispute within 10 working days. If they cannot do so, or you the tenant remains dissatisfied, the dispute should be referred promptly for resolution by the scheme where the deposit is registered likely to be either the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) or the DPS (The Deposit Protection Service). Hopefully as with most tenancies it won’t come to this and you will have your deposit returned by your Landlord/Agent intact.