Retaining Your Deposit as a Tenant

Moving out of a rented property can be a stressful time, especially when you're worried about losing your security deposit. This guide will provide you with some tips on how to avoid deductions to your deposit, so you can get your money back in full.

Why might you lose your deposit?

Landlords are most likely to withhold all or part of your deposit when they feel the property needs work to restore it to the same condition as it was when you started your tenancy. This could include cleaning, repairs, or redecoration. Other factors that may affect the return of your deposit are any missing items, outstanding rent, or bill payments.

How to avoid deductions to your deposit

Do a deep clean

This is one of the most important things you can do to avoid deductions to your deposit. Make sure to clean every room thoroughly, including the kitchen, bathroom, and appliances.

Fix any damages

If you've caused any damage to the property, fix it before you move out. This could include things like fixing holes in the walls, replacing broken lightbulbs, or repainting scuffed walls.

Take photos and videos

When you first move in, take photos and videos of the property to document its condition. This will help you if there are any disputes about the state of the property when you move out.

Get everything in writing

If you agree to any changes to the property, get it in writing. This will help protect you if there are any disputes later on.

Be a good tenant

Pay your rent on time, keep the property clean, and report any problems to your landlord promptly. This will help you build a good relationship with your landlord, which can make it more likely that you'll get your deposit back in full.

Communication is key

The most important thing you can do to avoid deductions to your deposit is to communicate with your landlord. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to ask your landlord. And if you cause any damage to the property, be sure to let your landlord know right away so they can fix it.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting your security deposit back in full. So don't forget to do a deep clean, fix any damages, take photos and videos, get everything in writing, and be a good tenant.

Additional tips

  • Take out tenancy liability insurance. This insurance will cover you for accidental damage to your landlord's property.
  • Read your tenancy agreement carefully. This will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
  • Be prepared to negotiate with your landlord. If your landlord does make deductions to your deposit, be prepared to negotiate with them to get your money back.

For more information on entering and retaining your deposit, speak to a member of our Property Management team.