The majority of landlords or rental agents will require a deposit from you when you move into a leased home.
The landlord or letting agent will confirm the amount of money to be put down to serve as a guarantee against damage repairs, additional cleaning if the property is left dirty or needing to be cleared, or any unpaid rent or unpaid other utilities specified in the tenancy agreement.
- The landlord is required to return the deposit in full if there are no problems when you vacate the property.
- However, if any of the aforementioned scenarios occur when you leave the property, all or part of the amount of the deposit can be applied to cover expenses so the landlord is not responsible for them.
Items that have been worn or damaged as a result of normal use are not eligible for replacement with the deposit.
When you rent a property in the private sector, you pay a deposit.
This is held in a government-approved arrangement by a neutral third party. It remains there until your lease expires and you vacate the property.
By paying a deposit when you move into a privately leased residence, you can ensure that the landlord will be fairly paid if damage occurs while you are a tenant. The amount of the deposit will be agreed upon and stated in the tenancy agreement between the landlord and tenant. This is typical in the private rental market and has nothing to do with your character.
Following complaints that millions of pounds in deposits had not been repaid to tenants, a deposit protection policy was implemented in Scotland. In some instances, repayment of the deposits were unjustly withheld based on flimsy justifications of a dispute or with no justification at all. Many times, even when tenants disagreed they felt powerless to pursue legal remedies.
The deposit protection scheme was put in place to address the disparity in power and aid in the operation of a fair, independent, cost-free program that provides dispute resolution to both parties on equal terms.
Tenancy deposit schemes in Scotland
Within 30 working days after the start of the tenancy, your landlord or letting agent must transfer the security deposit you paid for the rental property to an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
In Scotland, there are three tenancy deposit scheme providers to pick from: Letting Protection Service Scotland, SafeDeposits Scotland, and my deposits Scotland.
As well as protecting your security deposit within 30 working days of the start of the tenancy, your landlord/agent must also provide you with the following information in writing:
- the deposit’s amount and the day it was received
- tenancy deposit scheme’s tenancy deposit payment date
- a statement stating that they are registered (or have requested to be registered) as a landlord in the local council area of the property, together with the address of the property.
- the terms under which all or a portion of your deposit may be retained by the landlord at the end of your tenancy, along with the name and contact information of the tenant deposit scheme provider they hired.
- information about the consequences of a late deposit
How can you ensure that at the end of your tenancy you get your deposit back from your landlord in full?
Even though the deposit system and the majority of leases will cover reasonable wear and tear, that doesn’t imply you can vacate a dirty flat and get away with it.
The most frequent cause of partial deposit refunds for tenants is the requirement for the landlord to engage specialized cleaners to clean the place after you vacate. Take care to be meticulous and thorough when performing your final clean! Anything that doesn’t move should be cleaned, so remove the furniture and clean underneath it. Also, dust the skirting boards, clean the oven, and wash your windows. If anything moves, you may wish to clean below it as well. If you were permitted to have pets, pay extra attention to cleaning (and be even more diligent if you weren’t!) as the landlord will frequently notice this, especially the less pet-friendly ones. Pet hair and odours, as well as marks and scratches on doors and woodwork, should be attended to.
Unpaid rent is another frequent justification for taking money from a deposit.
Verify that all of your rent has been paid in full before you break your lease. If you are paying for a portion of a month, be in mind that your last payment can be a different amount than usual. Avoid stopping payments in the final month before your tenancy ends, because the landlord may deduct as much of the deposit as required to cover the remaining rent. Your lease will cover this, but since the landlord will go over the property thoroughly, you are less likely to get any of the remaining money back.
Make sure your landlord provides you with a complete inventory before moving into the property, so there are no misunderstandings when the tenancy ends. You don’t want to go into a legal battle over allegedly lost possessions with the landlord.
The inventory and record of condition should also include information about the condition of the property at the beginning of the lease. Any pictures should have a date and be of a high enough standard and number to serve as an exhaustive record. But don’t just rely on pictures. A well-designed professional inventory can prevent the arguments and delays that a thorough arbitration process, by an independent adjudicator, will surely bring about.
Property damage is a typical and preventable reason why you won’t get your entire money returned.
It’s always preferable to notify your letting agency of any damage as soon as it occurs as opposed to waiting until you vacate. According to the lease, you are frequently compelled to do that. Even while the cabinet door that came off during your first week in the flat may have blended in with the furniture for you, it will be visible to anyone looking at the property.
Any property may experience issues with leaking gutters, slipping slates causing roof leaks, or subpar appliances, and the landlord should be appreciative that a renter takes the time to report and allow fixing any issue before the property deteriorates. Tenants have a responsibility to report these problems. Landlords and their managing agents must be given a reasonable length of time to put things right, within the bounds of reasonableness, proportionality, and common sense. Ignoring problems and counting on the other side to clean up the mess through the deposit will not benefit either party.
In Summary: How to ensure your deposit is protected
If you pay your rent on time and maintain your rental home, you shouldn’t have any trouble when it is time to get your deposit back when you are moving out of the property. Your deposit should be protected and the deposit should be repaid.
Landlords are responsible for ensuring that the property is in good condition for tenants to occupy at the beginning of the tenancy, maintaining an accurate inventory and record of condition, conducting periodic inspections, and attending to problems as they develop.
Deposit disputes can be avoided, and it is always preferable to reach a settlement through dialogue. As soon as a problem arises, contact your landlord or get in touch with the letting agency to schedule a visit to come to an agreement on a resolution strategy. This means any problems can be fixed before you leave and you have a better chance of getting a good recommendation and the deposit to be returned in full and in good time too.