CHECKING IN AND CHECKING OUT
In order to avoid later disputes about your deposit, please think about the following before you check in to your new home:
- Ensure the inventory is done at the start of the tenancy
- Ensure it lists everything in the property and its state and condition
- Good quality photos of the property are advisable in the inventory
- Be there when the inventory is being done. If that is not possible, make sure you check it against the state of the property before you sign it
- Tell the landlord or agent if anything is wrong with the inventory before you sign it
- Check everything carefully – note all damages, marks, scratches and how clean everything is
- The landlord or agent will then ask you to sign the inventory once you are happy with it. This will be what the property is compared to when you leave and go through ‘check out.’
- Please make sure you keep your copy of the inventory safe so that you can look at it again before you check out.
- Before move out day, check your tenancy agreement to see what it says about checking out
- It may be, for example, that there is a clause in your contract to hire professional carpet cleaners. If so, make sure this is organised in plenty of time to avoid later disputes about cleaning
- The landlord or agent will probably check on your move out day what the condition of the property is compared to the inventory you signed when you checked in, so it would be helpful for you to check this inventory again before you start moving out
- You should take photos of the condition of the property when you move out in case the landlord later disputes how the property was left
- If possible, get the landlord or agent to meet you at the property before you hand over the keys to check that they are happy with how the property has been left so that any initial disputes can be sorted out quickly
- If you are anyone else staying at the property has caused any damage, this will need to be fixed before check out day, otherwise the landlord will deduct the cost of repair from your deposit which they are entitled to do. It is often cheaper and less stressful for you to fix this problem before the end of your tenancy.
Disputes following check out
If the landlord or agent refuses to return all, or some of your deposit and you disagree with this decision, you must raise this dispute with the agency that is protecting your deposit. Please see the section on ‘DEPOSITS’ for details on how to check where your deposit is protected. They will then make a decision about whether or not the deposit is returned to you. They will keep hold of your deposit whilst this decision is being made. If you have taken photos on check in and check out days, these will be helpful pieces of evidence to send to the agency.