Your tenancy has ended, and you’ve moved out. You’re waiting to hear from your deposit scheme and you hope it’s good news.
But have you ever wondered what goes into the deposit return process from the landlords perspective? Do you imagine your landlord entering your property with a clipboard, sliding a finger along the window sill to inspect dust particles in the hope of finding a reason to charge you?
It doesn’t really happen that way.
For most landlords, particularly ones that deal with student accommodation, the tenancy check-out and deposit return process is the most stressful time of the year.
It may be hard to believe but most legitimate landlords would love to return your deposit in full because it means your rent is settled, there’s no need to hire a cleaner and no dispute to have to deal with. Your landlord can breathe a huge sigh of relief!
When it was made compulsory for deposits to be protected under a government backed scheme, it was great news for tenants. Not only did it protect you as a tenant, it also exposed the dishonest rogue landlords.
But what nobody really acknowledges, is that it was good news for those decent landlords too. Before the scheme was introduced, yes the landlord was in control of the deposit, but they still had an obligation to follow the same rules without legal guidance. So if a dispute progressed to court, they were often expensive and time consuming. And the court hearing would be set months away!
Today, the scheme doesn’t allow the deposit return process to drag on. If the Landlord is being unreasonable, they’re told more or less immediately. As are the tenants.
So why’s it so stressful to the Landlord?
Most student accommodation tenancies end in June and begin in July. So there’s only a small window to complete inspections, take all the necessary photographs for inventories and if needed, instruct cleaners to turn the property around.
If a property is left in a less than desirable state, it’s not so much that the landlord is worried about the property itself, but more the concern that it won’t be ready in time for the new tenants.
If cleaning and repairs are required, the landlord only has a few hours or days to complete the work. Depending on the severity, it doesn’t actually leave much time.
Then we come to a deposit dispute itself. The landlord has only 10 days to raise any charges from the tenancy end date. Any deductions need to be evidenced with date stamped photos and receipts.
So there you go, the deposit process explained. Hopefully some of the common held misconceptions dispelled too!