How to Get Your Security Deposit Back

By Vanessa B

Renting a property can be expensive, and one of the things you need to pay out for when you first move into a rented home is your security deposit. Your landlord will ask for this, so they have some assurance that in the event you do damage the property in any way, they will have a sum of money to go towards repair work once you vacate. Getting your security deposit back is always useful, as this will leave you with some extra cash to either go towards your next rental security deposit or something else. However, getting your security deposit back is not guaranteed, so here are a few ways you can make sure you do receive your money back when you do move to a new place.

Keep the Property Clean

Just because you haven’t made any structural damage to the property while you’re living there doesn’t mean you automatically get your deposit back. Your landlord will expect you to leave their property in good condition, and this means leaving is spotless. You must keep the property clean while you’re living there, and make sure you do a deep clean before you leave, so it’s fresh and ready for the new tenants. A good way to make sure you have covered your bases is by hiring a professional cleaning company like Cleaner Cleaner Ltd. They can offer you end of tenancy cleaning services to make sure your landlord is satisfied with the state of the property when you leave.

Maintenance Work

If you’re renting a property, it is your landlord’s responsibility to take care of the majority of the maintenance work, such as replacing old or broken appliances, fixing structural issues such as leaking pipes or broken roof tiles, etc. However, smaller maintenance tasks like replacing bulbs, mowing the lawn, keeping the drains unclogged, etc., are your responsibility as the tenant. If you do notice any issues such as damp, leaks, electrical faults, and so on, you must notify your landlord as soon as possible so they can have it fixed before the problem gets worse.

Keep Up with Rent Payments

Another way you might end up losing out on your security deposit is if you have failed to keep up with your rent payments. If you do this consistently, your landlord will evict you, and they will keep your security deposit as a way of making some of their lost money back from you. If you have been unable to pay once or twice and have asked for an extension from your landlord, which they have agreed to, try to make sure you still pay off this outstanding debt to them before you move out as they might decide to keep your security deposit instead.

Don’t Damage the Property

Of course, the most obvious way to protect your security deposit is by making sure you don’t inflict any damage on the property while you’re living there. Avoid having big parties (this could also get you evicted if your landlord receives persistent complaints from your neighbours), always check that the taps have been switched off, the stove isn’t left on, and that the house is always locked up anytime you leave. 

Clarify the Rules

Finally, make sure you fully understand your tenancy agreement’s rules so you can avoid anything that might result in your losing your security deposit. You should have a copy of your tenancy agreement to refer to, but if you have any questions, contact your landlord and have them clarify things for you. If your landlord fails to give you your deposit when you believe you are entitled to it, you can send a demand letter by registered post with a copy for your records. This gives them a chance to pay your deposit. If your landlord does not respond to your demand letter you can then take them to court. 

Don’t give your landlord a reason to keep your security deposit; follow these top tips to give yourself the best chance of getting it back.