Tenancy deposit refunds disputes are probably the most common landlord-tenant disputes. Most tenants do not take time to go through the tenancy agreement, which lays out the grounds for deducting the tenant’s deposit. Here are some instances where the landlord will deduct your tenancy deposit, and how to avoid it.
Cleaning costs deductions
Conflicts about cleaning probably form the biggest share of tenancy deduction disputes. Many tenants that are in a hurry to vacate, do so and wait for a deposit, which never comes or is refunded with deductions. The tenant will raise a dispute, which they probably lose. The issue of end of tenancy cleaning is standard in tenancy agreements, with the obligation of the end of tenancy cleaning falling on the tenant. Other tenants will want to avoid paying end of tenancy cleaning prices by doing DIY cleaning which does not pass the landlord’s inspection.
The landlord also has a right to use your money to cater for cleaning costs of your pet’s hairs, smells and any other mess. However, the landlord must show evidence of the payments in the form of receipts.
The best way out of this is by engaging a professional end of tenancy cleaning service. This will ensure that the job is done the first time right, giving the landlord no reason to hold on to your deposit.
The law prohibits the landlord to make deductions on wear and tear of the property from normal use. But he can deduct damages to the property. Examples of damages to the property include:
- Missing and torn curtains
- Cigarette burns on the carpet and upholstery
- Puncture marks on the wall left by hung artwork
Normal wear and tear examples include:
- Faded curtains
- Scuffing on the floor and walls
- Worn carpets and rugs
Your best guarantee against unfair property damage deductions is doing an inventory report when moving in. this shows the state of items and fixtures in the house. The landlord should sign it and give you a copy. When moving out, compare this report against what shows on the inspection.
Missing items deductions
This mostly applies to furnished apartments. If there was a TV when you moved in, and it is missing when you are moving out, the landlord has the right to replace the TV from your deposit. What the landlord cannot do is use your money to buy a larger TV than the one that was in the house. Again, the best guarantee for unfair missing items deductions is a room by room inventory report.