Have you paid your landlord a rental deposit, and they failed to return it without a good reason to do so? Have you been given your entire deposit but realized that it was not protected? Has your landlord failed to put your rent deposit in the government-backed tenancy deposit schemes? If you are going through any of the above situations, you should take action against your landlord and file a tenancy deposit claim. So, how do they work, and what should one know before starting this journey? If this is you, worry not, as the below guide will comprehensively cover all the information you need about tenancy deposit claims. Read on;
Tenancy Deposit Claims
A tenancy deposit is given to the landlord and serves as a safeguard for them if the contract is broken. It is also done to secure the tenancy before the new tenant comes in and pays for damages incurred. According to the law, and under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), the deposit should be protected in authorized government TDP schemes. The approved protection schemes include MyDeposits, Deposit Protection Service, and Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit schemes are designed to prevent the landlord from using the money as additional income and ensure that you get your deposit much faster.
The landlord is obligated to do the following:
- Pay the rental deposit in any three government-approved protection schemes.
- Inform you of which scheme they have deposited your money.
- Protect the deposit and inform you that it is protected within 30 days of paying the deposit.
You have the right to file for compensation if the landlord fails to do any of the above obligations. However, the circumstances where all or part of the deposit was withheld should be explained in the Tenancy Agreement. This means that you cannot file tenancy deposit claims if it is not indicated clearly in the agreement. Also, it should be signed by both the landlord and tenant at the start of the tenancy to make it valid.
Deductions That You Can Claim
Below are some of the deductions that you can claim;
- Outstanding rent.
- Repairs and damage to property. This entails all that exceeds the usual wear and tear.
- General maintenance. This includes maintenance of roofs, ceilings, gutters, walls, and floors.
Why Do You Need To Have An Inventory Report?
For you to have a reasonable claim, you need to provide evidence. One of the critical things that will make your case stand out is having an inventory report. It thoroughly documents the state of the property before and after the tenant stays in the house. Below are some of the crucial things to include in your inventory;
- The room contents.
- The condition and usability of electrical appliances.
- The quality of furniture.
- The duality of the floors and tiles.
- The state of the power sockets and light bulbs.
- The hygiene of the property.
- The damage to the walls.
- Scuff marks and dents.
- Molds and mildew on the property.
Should You Still Make A Claim If You Have Received Part Of The Deposit?
Yes, you are still entitled to make a claim, even if the landlord only returned a part of the deposit. If you believe they made unreasonable deductions, you should make a tenant deposit protection claim. Here, you will need to show that you paid your rent in full and it is up to date as per the rental agreement and prove that no property was damaged during your tenancy. You also have to prove that the landlord did not act according to the law.
Some of the other pieces of evidence that you need include:
- Correspondence between both parties discussing the deposit.
- The tenancy agreement.
- Evidence that you paid the deposit.
Tenancy deposit claims can be challenging to deal with on your own, and this is why you need an attorney to help you navigate this journey. The good news is that most law firms work on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not have to spend any money on the case until you win. This will be a plus for you, as you will not lose any money due to the case. Contact your attorney to guide you and explain your options if you have a tenant deposit issue. With the above guide, the process will be smooth for you.