How to get your Rent Deposit back !Oh, so here we are, one of the things we hate the most in London ( and I guess in the whole UK)….getting our deposit back! Yes, as weird as it sounds, it should super easy, but apparently it is not. Many struggle to get paid back in full, and many dont even see their money again, at all. How unfair. However, some time there are things we can do in advance to make sure we have done everything correctly, because if we know that we have the right to get that deposit back…we will get it. Many move to london very young and have no idea on how to manage a flat, they are not even bother to read the contrat properly! Well, sorry but this will play against you at the end of your stay, because you need to know your rights, you need to know what you can or cant do in your flat, and you need to know how to play your cards wisely since day 1. How to get your Rent Deposit back !
Make sure, first of all, that your deposit is legally protected with a Tenancy deposit protection.
Another thing you mush check:
- whether your landlord or agent is on a Rogue landlord and agent Checker
- Whether your landlord or agent is on London Fire Brigade’s public register of notices
Read that contract!
Lets be honest, do you really read every single line of the contract when you sign it? Nope, most of the times you don’t. Wrong, you have too. If you don’t read the contract carefully you will never be on the right side of the stick, you will never truly know what you can and cant do. Read it carefully and ask question to the landlord or the agency in case something is not quite clear to you. If English is not your first language and you struggle a little with technical terms, ask a friend to help you out with that.
[ You also might want to know a few more THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING TO LONDON]
We all take useless photos of just about anything nowadays, well take a few important ones: take picture of the place, your room, the whole flat. Take picture of possible scratches and little damages that you notice straight away, and report it to the landlord. This way you will be able to show that they were there before you moved in. Use a timestamp on the photos so they can be tracked down in time.
Not just because you have to, for yourself, but it is very important to show the agency/landlord that you are responsible and you can keep the place in a good state. This will come handy when you will try to rent another place, and need references from previous landlord.
Apart from taking pictures, make a list of everything that is in the house/your room. Most of the time the agency has an inventory already made for you to check. But it is a good thing to make one if they don’t have one. List what’s present in the flat/your room the day you move in. List the light equipment, such has a kettle, a toaster, blender, and other things. List what you have in your room apart from the bed. Do you have a desk and a chair? Do you have a coffee table? A rug?
Keep the receipts.
Be smart and keep a copy of your bank statement or a receipt that says you have paid your rent and bills (if you have any).
Be a good person.
Respect your flat mates and your neighbours. No loud music, no washing machine at midnight, no dirty dishes left in the sink for day, etc – you know the story. Don’t you?!
If you think something has broken down such has the washing machine, report it. Kettle not working? Report it to the landlord. Don’t complaint about it, things happen, just let them know and they will appreciate the understanding and will replace it. Well, most of the times.
Sign it, again.
If you have a little dispute about something with your landlord, and this gets fixed, put it in written and sign it, and have it signed off.
Don’t be too friendly.
We all love having friends around for dinner, for a good movie, etc – But you need to be considerate of your flatmates if you have any, and your neighbours too. Plus, be sure your mates don’t ruin the furniture with spilt drinks etc – I know it sounds unwelcoming towards your friends, but you need to think about your money.
Also, very important: make sure you can have someone staying overnight and don’t let your place become a party house. Believe me: landlords don’t like it.
Be nice with your flatmates, but if you see things that they should not do, such as damaging the property somehow, tell them first, then if nothing changes, tell the landlord. You don’t want to pay for something you didn’t do, don’t you? Dont forget that living in London is not super cheap, so you dont want to pay even more! I have for you an article that tells you more about the Costs of Living in London.
These are just spontaneous advice, things that we all should do with a bit of common sense. But if things get nasty, there is professional people out there that can help you out to get your deposit back if you are having trouble with that.
The Government says that “our landlord must return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing how much you’ll get back. If you’re in a dispute with your landlord, then your deposit will be protected in the TDP scheme until the issue is sorted out.”
You can also REPORT your landlord or agent using the reporting tool from London.gov.uk