An Inventory & Schedule of Condition Report prepared by an impartial, independent company at the start and end of a tenancy is the best way to avoid disputes relating to deposits.

As a Tenant it is vital that you ensure you receive an Inventory report and Schedule of Condition at the start of your tenancy, and you check this over as soon as you can once received from your Letting Agent or Landlord. You typically have seven days to review the report, add photos and/or additional comments. Outside of this time frame it is assumed that you agree to the contents set out in the report.

By ensuring that you have reviewed and agreed to the report you can protect yourself from being held liable for any defects or damages that were not caused by you during your tenancy. The best-case scenario is that you will receive your full deposit.

The best advice we can offer you as industry professionals is the following:

  • Ensure you have the property professionally cleaned to a high standard at the end of your tenancy, unless otherwise agreed with your Letting Agent or Landlord.
  • We recommend using cleaners recommended by your Letting Agent so that if there is any reason for the cleaners to return you will not be held liable.
  • If there is any need for redecoration or you wish to make good fitment holes, ensure you have the correct paint colour match otherwise you could be held liable for an apportion of redecoration costs.
  • Defrost your freezer in good time if it is over frozen. You will need to ensure there is no overspill or sitting water that could damage the flooring.
  • Remove all personal belongings from the property, particularly storage cupboards, kitchen units and wardrobes.
  • Return all keys to the Clerk, Agent or Landlord including window keys, internal doors, shed keys etc
  • Replace any light bulbs and alarm batteries before you vacate.
  • Lastly, ensure that you communicate and are honest with your Landlord or Letting Agent about any damages in the property during the tenancy so that you can resolve any issues as soon as possible.

For additional advice you can refer to the ‘How to Rent Checklist’ available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent