The Security Deposit – What’s Covered And What’s Not?
There are many gray areas when it comes to sorting out what needs to be done at the end of the lease in order to get your security deposit back, possibly in full. There are certain things that are expected of the tenants before they vacate the property and there are others that are considered landlord’s responsibility.
Usually, by contract, tenants are legally obliged to perform or organize an carpet cleaning. Fortunately, London is full of companies ready to cater to tenants’ cleaning needs. Again, usually in this case, the landlord is allowed to make reasonable deductions from the security deposit specifically for cleaning and other obvious discrepancies such as missing items or specific items being damaged while place is rented out. As mentioned above, usually the tenant is the one who should take care of the premises cleaning either on their own or by hiring a local cleaning company. Many cleaners in New Malden can offer excellent services at good price.
If any cleaning is done by the tenant during the lease, receipts and invoices should be kept for later reference. In terms of paying for damage caused by tenants and having any other amounts withheld from the deposit for a particular reason, the landlord is only allowed to withhold such amounts for actual damage caused and proven (not regular wear and tear), tenants can only be liable for proven financial losses sustained by the landlord i.e. having a noisy party last new year’s eve is not a valid reason to withhold 600 pounds off your deposit. Another important thing which will save your deposit is paying off all bills and rent that may be outstanding as the landlord has the right to hold back some money if these aren’t cleared yet.
Also, make sure that there is a clearly understood definition of normal wear and tear and damage caused as this can present itself as a problem at certain stage. In case of damage caused by tenants, landlord should fairly charge them for fixing the problem, but not charge them for the purchase of a brand new product/item if such was not brand new at the time tenants have moved in. Keeping track of all obligations and responsibilities between the two parties (tenants – landlord) will help both parties to fulfill their duties toward one another and avoid any potential conflicts of interest and prevent financial issues while moving out.