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Frequently Asked Questions

What reasons can a landlord keep my deposit?

Check your contract for the full details, but typically a landlord will keep some, or all, of your deposit because of damage inflicted to an item on the inventory, because of poor cleanliness, or rental arrears.   You have a right to accept, or contest any amount a landlord request.  If you cannot come to a decision, your case will be sent to an adjudicator for a final, binding, decision.

What your landlord Cannot do?

There are a great many laws ensuring your safe and enjoyable use of the property you rent.  You may have specifics in your contract relating to your property, however typically these are the key points your landlord must adhere to;

Your landlord must give adequate notice if they, or a contractor working for them, wishes to enter the property.  Typically, this tends to be at least 24 hours notice – unless there’s an emergency (such as a burst water pipe).

They must repair and maintain the property as required, within a reasonable time frame from you notifying them.  If you’re having trouble with a landlord not providing a repair, local authorities can help and in extreme cases take action.

Note that if the property is seriously damaged by fire, flood or other similar incidents then the landlord does not have to rebuild or renovate it.  However, if he does, charges cannot be passed on to the tenant.

Can a landlord charge for painting after you move out?

If you have painted a wall without the landlord’s permission, then they may be able to charge you to return it to the original colour.  However, as with all changes or decorating you wish to make – ask for the landlord’s permission, in writing, before doing so.

If you have not changed or decorated, the landlord is not able to charge for small scuffs or marks; those that would fall under fair “wear and tear”.  If there is significant damage, then you would be expected to cover those costs from within your tenancy deposit.  A landlord cannot charge you for painting simply because they wish to decorate for their next tenants.