1. Make a list of all existing damage
An inventory is a document which lists all the items in your property. Print one off and go through your new home making notes of any existing damage or stains, taking photos and video as evidence. Send it to your landlord and get them to sign it so you don’t get the blame when it’s time to move out.
Pay close attention to things like:
2. Get someone else to check your contract
If this is the first time you’ve ever signed a tenancy agreement it’s worth getting someone who’s done it before to read it too. They can double check you aren’t agreeing to anything unusual or out of the ordinary. It’s quite common for landlords to request their tenants pay for professional cleaners when it’s time for you to move out. If this is in your contract, check how much they’re going to charge and if it’s more than the going rate negotiate using someone cheaper.
3. Find out where your deposit is being held
Your money must be put into a deposit protection scheme and your landlord should give you the details. If not, chase them until you get an answer - this is now a legal requirement.
4. Make cleaning a weekly routine
As dull as it sounds you need to make cleaning part of your weekly routine. The biggest reason landlords give for keeping deposits is down to cleaning. You don’t have to spend ages on it – 30 - 60 minutes a week to whip the hoover around, dust and give the kitchen and bathroom a bit of love will save you a world of pain when it comes to moving out.
5. Dont be late paying your rent
If you fall behind paying your rent, your housemates might suffer too. If you have what's called a joint tenancy your landlord may choose to take any monies owing out of your joint deposits leaving you red faced and not too popular. Stay on top of your bills and set up a standing order.
6. Leave the property how you’d want to find
Leaving the property in an even better condition than you found it will be the best way of guaranteeing your full deposit back. All landlords allow for some wear and tear – but imagine their surprise and delight if you go the extra mile and leave it cleaner than when you moved in. If you have the chance to make your landlord’s life easier and can mend any small breakages yourself, check first and do it. You’ll save them money and a healthy relationship can only mean a more positive outcome getting your deposit back when it comes to moving out.