As a tenant, we know how important it is to receive your full tenancy deposit back when you move out of a property; after all, it's your money and it can go a long way financially towards helping you settle into your new home. However, there are occasions when you might not receive the full deposit back. Recent research suggests that disputes between landlords and tenants about deposits come down to one key factor: a lack of communication.
New research conducted by my|deposits, a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme, has shown that in the previous year over 30% of deposit disputes did not proceed through the formal Alternative Dispute Resolution. This is attributed to the TDP encouraging landlords and tenants to communicate about the deposit beforehand.
Tim Frome, Legal Services Manager at my|deposit, believes that by explaining the reasoning behind each deposit deduction, a compromise can often be made – part of the problem seems to come from tenants not understanding why they’ve been charged, which can be incredibly frustrating if they return the property in the same condition it was in when they moved in.
Unless you’ve spent your entire tenancy taking a sledgehammer to the walls, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t receive all, or the majority of your deposit back at the end of the tenancy. However, common causes of deposit disputes include tenants not fully cleaning the property, or not understanding which parts of the household they’re responsibility for cleaning. Things that are normally missed when it comes to cleaning include toilets, showers and the inside of the oven. All of these can contribute to a tenant losing money from their deposit.
Your TDP scheme will offer a free dispute resolution service should you need to make use of it. As a tenant, the money is legally yours, and you will have the advantage should it come to this course of action.
As suggested by my|deposit above, you should first attempt to communicate with your landlord and/or property management service for a full breakdown of the charges that have been made; if you believe that you are not at fault, you can use this opportunity to present evidence and hopefully overturn any mistaken charges. Evidence could include pictures from the day you moved in, or dated emails alerting the landlord to an issue that had not been resolved during the tenancy which you are now being charged for.
If communication does not adequately resolve your problem, you can then proceed with the dispute resolution service, although this can be a lengthy and time-consuming process.
If you’re a tenant looking for a new property, or a landlord looking for help managing your property, CPS Homes is here to help! For more information about any of our services or properties, contact us online or pop into one of our branches across Cardiff. We also offer advice on the new landlord licensing scheme Rent Smart Wales.