Tenant

When can a landlord refuse to give back your deposit?

If you have damaged items on the inventory, or have unpaid rent, then a landlord may withhold some, or all, of your deposit to cover this.  If you disagree with the amount, you are able to contest this through the deposit scheme provider (i.e., the company that your landlord has lodged your deposit with).  If you fail to reach an agreement, then you can submit your case for adjudication.

Can my landlord charge me for nail holes?

What does your contract say? Did you ask for permission? Both very important questions.  Typically, small and subtle nail holes may be deemed fair wear and tear. But if, once removed, the plaster has cracked and caused damage, or you’ve used a heavy duty nail, the landlord is within their right to charge you for repairing.  Cover this question at the beginning of your tenancy, and ask for permission on specific walls and it will make leaving at the end of your tenancy much easier.

This may not seem a conclusive answer – and that’s because the answer is not black and white.  With all such things, it’s about being reasonable; on both sides.

Can a landlord say no overnight guests?

Any clause in your contract that states you are not allowed overnight guests is likely to be unenforceable.  There is a distinction between overnight guests occasionally staying, and a lodger that effectively lives in the property.  If they’re paying you money, you’re sub-letting to them and this is likely to be against the terms of your agreement.  However, the occasional guest? Quite ok.

What are tenants responsible for when moving out?

To answer this question; you need your contract and inventory, signed when you started your tenancy at the property.  In there, it will detail what is expected of you when leaving.  For example, you must check that all the items in the inventory are still present, and undamaged.

You must leave the property in the same condition in which you receive it.  General wear and tear is acceptable, but damage must be repaired; if you do not do it, your landlord will and take payment for it from your tenancy deposit.

Consider that when you received the property, it will have been clean.  So, you must leave it in the same condition; this includes windows (inside and out), the garden is appropriate for the time of year, appliances provided by the landlord and any other furniture within the property.  Again, if you do not clean it (or do not clean to a satisfactory standard), the landlord will charge you for having it done professionally.

What qualifies as landlord harassment?

How can I get my landlord in trouble?

This is not a question we are enjoying responding to here at Deppy, however we have realised that a lot of people are searching the internet for such answers.   Your landlord has very specific laws that they must follow; from what they do with your tenancy deposit, to how much notice they give you in advance of visiting the property and what standards the services in your property must meet.  In all cases, the laws are very clear, and you can find more information at https://www.gov.uk/browse/housing-local-services/owning-renting-property.  If your landlord fails to meet any of these, your first step must always be to address with your landlord directly, in writing.  If they fail to respond in a reasonable time frame (appropriate to your concern), you can then seek legal recourse, the details of which are available at www.gov.uk

What happens if a deposit is not protected within 30 days?

Once you have provided your landlord with a cash deposit (usually the equivalent of 5 weeks rent), they must lodge that deposit within an approved scheme.  They have a range of options of which scheme to choose, but all of them must provide “prescribed information” to you, and any relevant persons, showing the details of where your cash is protected.

If your landlord does not provide this within 30 days of you giving them your deposit, notify them in writing. Your landlord may be liable to a fine of up to 3 times the deposit amount.  For more information on what to do next, visit; https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/if-your-landlord-doesnt-protect-your-deposit

What happens if my landlord doesn’t return my deposit within 10 days?

Once your tenancy has ended, and not before, you can request the return of your deposit.  This must be returned to you within 10 days of your request.  However, if your landlord is seeking deductions from your deposit to cover rent arrears, damage or other costs, then they must submit this to you in writing.  Once you’ve agreed the amount to be deducted, the landlord must return the remainder.

Can a landlord withhold a deposit?

If you have damaged items on the inventory, or have unpaid rent, then a landlord may withhold some, or all, of your deposit to cover this.  If you disagree with the amount, you are able to contest this through the deposit scheme provider (i.e. the company that your landlord has lodged your deposit with).  If you fail to reach an agreement, then you can submit your case for adjudication.

Can a landlord keep your deposit if you leave early?

If you have not given adequate notice, within the terms of your contract, then the landlord may be able to claim unpaid rent from your deposit.  For example, if you must give 8 weeks notice before leaving, but only provide 4 weeks notice, then the landlord may deduct 4 weeks rent from your deposit before returning it.  As with all such considerations; check what your contract says, and be sure to stick to the terms.

If you adhere to all the terms within your contract, but choose to finish the tenancy early, the landlord is not able to keep some, or all, of your deposit for that reason.  However, you will still remain liable for any damage or missing items from the inventory.

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 you wish to make or decorating  – 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.

What can your landlord not 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.

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 requests.  If you cannot come to a decision, your case will be sent to an adjudicator for a final, binding, decision.

Do you get your rental deposit back?

If you cause no damage, clean to a suitable standard, and have no rent outstanding then yes; you get your full rental deposit back.  Be sure to check the terms of your contract and ensure that everything listed in the inventory is present when you check out (and not damaged), and be sure to clean the property in accordance with the contract (typically, it must be left in the same condition with which it was received, with allowances for general wear and tear).  If a landlord requests compensation for any infringements you have the right to question this.  If you do not come to an agreement on the value of compensation, your case will be submitted to an adjudicator for an official, binding decision.  Your deposit will be returned to you within 10 days.

How long can landlords hold deposits?

From the time you ask for your deposit back (which must be once the tenancy has ended), a landlord must respond within 10 days.  Their response may be to submit a claim for some, or all, of the deposit or simply to give it back.  Once the amount to be deducted from the deposit has been agreed by you, or has been confirmed by an official adjudication, then the remainder must be returned.

**All these views are for information only, please always seek professional advice before acting.