If you’ve ever been a renter, then it’s likely that you’ll know the hassles of getting back your deposit. It’s never as easy as it should be, and sometimes, ending your tenancy can leave you in disputes with your landlord to get back the full amount you believe you’re owed.
If you’re preparing to leave your current rented home, then there’s a few things you can do to leave the property in top shape and limit the risk of your deposit cash being culled. Here's our top five hacks to help you get your deposit back:
- Deep clean your appliances
Cleaning big appliances, like your oven or microwave, can feel like a daunting task, especially if they’ve had years of use by various tenants. But you don’t want your landlord to have any grounds to hold back deposit money, and leaving behind a filthy oven could be a good enough reason. Get the gloves on, buy a bottle of oven cleaner, and set aside a couple of hours to tackle the deep cleans. Or if you prefer the DIY route, then you can use baking soda and vinegar to create a paste that can work just as effectively to spread over the appliances and help eliminate any tough dirt.
- Unblock the sinks
It’s always a good idea to pay some attention to the plug holes in your rented property before leaving them behind. The best method to try first is pouring a large glass of boiling water down the plug hole to wash away any dirt, and then add a couple of teaspoons of baking powder and a small glass of vinegar to naturally eat away at any debris. If that hasn’t done the job, then for a sink, you can try to unscrew the U-bend and clean out any dirt from the pipes yourself. It’s worth looking it up on YouTube to follow any how-to videos when attempting this, and you might want to let your landlord know beforehand in case they’d prefer to take over.
- Tackle the damp
Damp is never something that you want to leave until moving homes to tackle. If black mould patches have grown on the walls in your bathroom or elsewhere, then it’s time to get to work. Put on the rubber gloves, get the windows wide open, and use a cloth with some washing up liquid or mould remover and wipe it off the wall. Keep the room ventilated by opening a window or switching on the extraction fan after a shower. And if it’s a big problem that you can’t fix, then make sure your landlord is aware. If it was a problem when you moved in, then it’s in their hands to get it sorted professionally.
- Collect evidence
When moving into a new rental property, it’s always a good idea to inspect the property for any signs of damage or wear and tear that are a result of previous tenants. This is your time to act the detective and gather the evidence. Take photographs of any damage, such as marks or cracks in the wall, dents in doors, sticky locks, or wobbly drawers. Then, if your deposit money is cut down for any of that pre-existing damage, then it’s easier to make that clearer to your landlord.
- Don’t neglect the outside space
Nobody’s expecting you to be green fingered, but if your rented property has a garden or any outdoor space then you might want to give it some love before you leave. This shouldn’t require taking on any big landscaping project. But it’s best to keep it in the state in which you moved into it, whether that means taking out weeds, raking the leaves, or removing any rubbish in the space. It will show that you’ve been looking after the whole property and avoid any costly gardening fees.