Generally, tenancy deposit is the amount of money your landlord is able to keep if the rental property needs repairs or cleaning to return the property to its original condition. So, it is the benefit as well as the security the landlord holds onto in the event that the property becomes very dirty or damaged at the end of the tenancy agreement.
In most areas in the UK, tenancy laws permit the landlord to make deduction(s) from your tenancy deposits for any damage or excessive uncleanliness. However, your landlord is not allowed to deduct anything from your tenancy deposits for the usual wear and tear.
So, if you don’t take adequate care of the property you rented or don’t pay your rent, your landlord can deduct money from your tenancy deposit as compensation. Your landlord is mandated by law to communicate to you the reason for deducting the money and the amount being deducted for each item.
Deductions Your Landlord Can Make
Your landlord is permitted by the tenancy laws to deduct money to cover the following:
- Unpaid rent
- Damage to the property
- Cleaning costs
The law strictly requires your landlord to return what is left of your tenancy deposit after making these deductions. Let’s discuss these points in detail:
Your landlord has the right to deduct any unpaid rent from your tenancy deposit. Consequently, your landlord could take you to the law court to get back all the rent owed if you owe more that the tenancy deposit.
Damage to Property
At the end of your tenancy, you are expected to return the property to your landlord in the same condition in which it was before you moved. Your landlord cannot deduct any money from your deposit for normal wear and tear. However, damage is quite different from normal wear and tear. Here are the examples of the differences:
Instances of damage are:
- Broken windows and doors
- Broken tiles and fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen
- Burn marks on the carpet
- Missing or torn curtains
- Excessive holes in the walls
Instances of normal wear and tear are:
- Faded curtains due to frequent use
- Faded paint on the walls as a result of sunlight
- Rug wear caused by regular use
- Broken plumbing caused by normal use
- Dents on the walls
Remember that your inventory is the only witness you have to counter all of your landlord’s accusations if any because it must state the condition of the walls, carpets, and paintwork before you move in.
Moving out of any rented property warrants that you keep it clean and neat. However, you should not clean it beyond the condition it was when you first moved in. But if your landlord paid for any cleaning, you should ask for the receipts while keeping your own receipts of paid cleaning safe.
Deductions Your Landlord Cannot Make
Your landlord is not permitted by the tenancy laws to make deductions covering the following:
- Advertising costs for re-letting the property
- Unpaid bills for electricity, gas, and water except when they are part of your rent
In conclusion, it is always wise for you as a tenant to know where your right starts and stops, so as to live in a rented apartment with peace of mind.