The time has come… You’re moving out. You’ve graduated, or you’ve got a new job, or you just plain-up need a change of scenery. Whatever the reason, your time in your current home has come to an end and you’re ready to say goodbye. We’re definitely not crying.
What happens with the deposit?
Our fabulous Relationship Managers will conduct a checkout inspection of the property once the tenant(s) have moved out. If necessary, they’ll then arrange a professional clean and any maintenance that needs done. An application will then be made to Safe Deposit Scotland for any expenses. Our tenants then receive an email from Safe Deposit Scotland, asking them to accept their deposit share back, minus any deductions that have been made.
If the tenant(s) don’t agree with the amount of the deposit or the deductions suggested, they have the opportunity to dispute this. However, our Relationship Managers will always keep tenants in the loop with the specific deductions, and why they happened.
Who are Safe Deposit Scotland?
Safe Deposit Scotland is a third party Tenancy Deposit Scheme which holds onto tenants deposits for the duration of their tenancy. They’re impartial so they will hold a deposit safety for the duration of a tenancy and will then review any disagreements in the deposit payment/deductions at the end of the tenancy. They’re a not-for-profit organisation and so totally free to use. You can read all about them right here. Easy as in 1-2-free!
How can I limit the chances of money being deducted from my deposit?
The important thing to remember is that, when a tenant vacates a property, we need to make sure the property is fit to welcome its new inhabitants with a winning, glittering smile. With this in mind, we’ve put together a bunch of super useful tips to help tenants maximise the chances of receiving their full deposit back by leaving the property exactly how it was when they moved in:
- Refer back to the inventory – The original inventory from when a tenant first moved in will be what the checkout inspection is measured against. If tenants use the original inventory, they can try to replicate the photos, so that the state of the property is as close as possible to what it was when they moved in. Simples.
- Respond to checkout emails – Our Relationship Managers will be in touch with the tenant during the move out process, so it’s important that the tenant is also responsive. If the tenant confirms that they’ve closed down any utility and council tax accounts in the property, it means we won’t need to chase for any unpaid bills which makes the whole process smoother. You Smooth Operator. This also applies to pre-paid meters; tenants need to make sure these are not in emergency credit/debt when they move out. The last thing our Relationship Managers want is to walk in for an inspection, and not be able to turn the lights on!
- Check all the lightbulbs – Speaking of lights, one of the most common reasons for not receiving a full deposit is that the lightbulbs in the property need to be replaced. Tenants can check and replace all the lightbulbs before their checkout inspection.
- Consider a professional cleaner – A quick hoover in the property isn’t going to cut it, we’re afraid. The property needs to be spotless, so the next lucky tenants have a clean, tidy new home to move into. A professional cleaner can save tenants a lot of effort and will make sure the property is up to scratch, cleaning-wise. An added upside is that if our Relationship Managers find any problems with the professional clean, they’ll bring it up directly with the cleaning company the tenant used (as long as the tenant has made their Relationship Manager aware which company they’ve used!). If you’re not sure which company to use, we have regular professional cleaners that we’d be happy to recommend.
- Clean it yourself – It’s entirely possible for a tenant to clean the property themselves, but there are a lot of places that can be easily missed; skirting boards, inside the washing machine seal and smudged mirrors, just to name a few. Tenants can ask their Relationship Manager to send them a copy of their cleaning checklist, and that will cover all the itty bitty places that will need to be thoroughly cleaned.
What about wear and tear?
There’s a big difference between ‘wear and tear’ and damage. Fair wear and tear is defined as “reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces.” This means that the fabric on a sofa being worn down over time is wear and tear, but any spillage stains or rips on the sofa are considered damage. Safe Deposit Scotland has a blog post about wear and tear here – it’s really useful for explaining what factors go into deciding if something counts as wear and tear.
We won’t deduct anything from a deposit that falls under the category of “wear and tear”. Any unsure tenants can contact their Relationship Manager, who’ll be happy to help go over this.
We hope this helps if you’re confused or concerned about getting your full deposit back, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!