This guide is designed to help you to think about the things you need to do when preparing to move out and to help you get your deposit back once you have moved out.
As long as there is no outstanding rent and you haven’t damaged the property or its contents and you leave it in a clean and tidy state you should expect to receive all of the deposit back. If you have caused any damage you can expect the landlord to want to make deductions but these must be fair.
Your landlord or agent cannot make deductions without your permission. If you disagree with what they want to deduct you can start a dispute with the relevant tenancy deposit scheme, your landlord should have provided you with the details of the scheme which they registered the deposit with within 30 days of you paying it to them.
If you do not know which scheme your deposit is protected by, then find out by visiting england.shelter.org.uk and searching ‘tenancy deposit schemes’.
If you find that your deposit has not been placed in a scheme contact Brookes Union Advice Sevice for help.
Everyone in the house should be involved. The whole house needs to be cleaned, each room and all the communal areas.
If you start this process a few weeks before your tenancy agreement ends, it shouldn’t take too long on the day.
When you moved in, you should have completed an inventory. You should have retained a copy and returned a copy to the landlord or agent so they should have a copy too. You should also have taken photographs of the house when you moved in to support your version of the inventory.
Go around the house with the inventory and your photos to check that everything is as it was when you moved in. Of course daily use of carpets and furniture will cause a gradual deterioration in the state of these things but that is “fair wear and tear” and you should not be penalised for it. If you have caused damage such as spilt wine on a carpet or caused a burn mark then you will have to pay for it.
Take photos to show that the house is in a similar condition to the way you found it. You will need these if there is a dispute because of course, you will not be able to gain access to the property once you have moved out. Don’t forget the garden if you have one.
Once you are happy that the house is in good order, call the agent and arrange for them to come & do an inventory check out. At least one housemate should be there when they do this.
Read all the meters, then contact the utility supliers with the final readings, give them a forwarding address for the final bill.
Remove all of your items from the house - including any rubbish.
Return ALL the keys to the agents - they will charge you if you don’t.
Get contact details of the lead tenant and if you are the lead tenant share your contact details with the rest of your housemates. The deposit is normally returned to the lead tenant and they will distribute it among the housemates.
Once your tenancy has ended you should expect your deposit to be repaid in full within 10 working days. This may go to the Lead Tenant or you may each get your share, depending on the agreement. If you have not received your deposit after 10 working days you should make a request in writing to your agent or landlord.
If the landlord or agent wants to make deductions and you do not agree, you will need to:
1) Write to them & explain why you do not accept their deductions
2) Ask for evidence that the work was necessary or for evidence of damage
The only option after this would be court - this incurs costs.
You should always try to resolve the issue with the landlord/agent before beginning a dispute, but don’t get into lengthy discussions with the letting agent or landlord as you have a limited time within which to raise your dispute.
Commonly there is a time limit of 3 months less 1 day from the last day of the assured shorthold tenancy in which to raise a dispute with the relevant deposit scheme.
We have a lot of experience in helping students get their deposits back. Please contact us as soon as you can rather than wait and let things drag on and lose the chance of getting your money back!
Council Tax : 01865 249811
Tenancy Relations Officer: 01865 252267
HMO Licensing Team: 01865 252307
Environmental Health: 01865 249811
TV Licensing: 0300 790 6144
Find us in the John Henry Brookes building, Headington Campus.
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Monday - Thursday 9:30 - 4pm
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Appointments available on request.
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