We all know that when you take a deposit from a new tenant it has to be protected via a government backed deposit scheme? YES
Deposit protection schemes were introduced to protect a tenant’s deposit.
HOWEVER- do you begin with the end in mind- do you know what you can or can’t charge a tenant when they move out?
Top Tips To Help With Deposit Disputes When Your Tenant Moves Out
- In any dispute involving redecoration costs and / or stained or worn carpets, one of the first things an adjudicator will do is look at the original inventory. Detail is king, if you cannot prove that the tenant has caused the damage through photos and a signed inventory then you will not win a dispute- make sure your starting point is correct.
- How much you can charge a tenant for wear and tear is based upon how long the tenants have lived at the property. Industry guidance indicates landlords should expect to decorate every three to five years. So after this period any claim for costs, due to wear and tear, for décor and carpets is unlikely to succeed.
- If you have a light coloured carpet where the entrance is straight off the street, you have to take into consideration higher wear and tear. In this specific area you can only charge for a percentage of the cost for the carpet being cleaned.
Click the link below for helpful tips:
- If the tenant(s) have children under 5, wear and tear on the walls needs to be taken into consideration at 1 meter level or below e.g. hand prints not kids drawings.
- Areas where you are meant to touch stuff e.g. banister rails – you need to take into account more wear and tear. Therefore these areas can only be charged up to 50%.
- If there are no splash backs in the kitchen and you have cooker stains on the walls, you can only charge the tenant(s) for cleaning it not painting.
- If there are not sufficient tiles in a shower area and the walls have been marked, you can only charge the tenant(s) for cleaning it off not painting unless “excessive”.
- If there is water damage on a bathroom floor and there is no shower rail you cannot charge the tenant(s) (this is in regards to a shower over a bath not just a bath).
TO SUM IT UP – a property must have ways and means to prevent damage. If the property does not have these then you cannot charge the tenant(s) the full costs.
What tools will aid you as a Landlord?
- Get your starting point right-detailed inventories with photos.
- Give your tenant a Tenant Handbook so a tenant knows exactly how they should be living in your property. Please see NGU Homelettings tenant handbook as guidance:
- When a tenant gives notice, book a first meet appointment to go over the move out stage. This will give the tenant all the information they need to get their deposit back and stops a lot of the disputes you may encounter at the final move out which could have been avoided.
If you want a Letting Agent that understands that attention to detail is essential then please give us a call. We are currently offering half price management for the first 6 months!
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