When it comes to renting your first property there is plenty of things to get excited about; planning all those important purchases, discovering the new area and of course picking a date for your house-warming party. But one thing that might not make you feel quite as excited is the prospect of handing over your deposit.
After all, a deposit is a significant amount of money and it is something that you seem to have minimal control over how much you get back at the end of your tenancy. Whilst you may not want to think about the idea of moving out when you are only just moving in; being aware of how best to protect your deposit is vital when it comes to moving on from this particular home.
Before you move
Right at the beginning of your tenancy it is important to pay attention to your inventory; especially when it comes to damaged or worn items. Make sure that you go through the property in person, with your letting agent (or landlord) and agree on the condition of each item or fixture on the inventory as well as any items that may be missing.
Once you have agreed the inventory it is important to ensure that you have a signed copy perhaps with confirmation of the agreement between yourself and your agent/landlord just so that you are covered at the end of the tenancy. You could even take photographs of the property on your moving in date if you prefer, just make sure that these images are correctly date stamped.
While you live there
As a tenant in a rented property it is your duty to ensure that you take care of any items that are included in the inventory as a part of your tenancy. Any damages should be reported straight away, as should any faults that occur of which you are not to blame.
If you do report any issues with items within the property then make sure any telephone conversations are followed up with an email and photographs if required.
When you move out
Much like when you first move in; when you move out of a property the contract an inventory form some of the most important parts to check. This is because for many tenancies the contract will state what is expected of you when you leave; such as organising a professional clean and defrosting/cleaning any of the the white goods.
It will be expected that you leave the property in same condition that it was when you moved in (taking into account fair wear and tear). But it might be wise to ensure you understand what is deemed as fair wear and tear by your landlord/letting agent.
If you took photographs when you first moved in then it might be advisable to take another set for comparison. That way you can sure how the property looked against how it looks now.
Finally, make sure that you remove all your belongings and rubbish from the property, even the garden and outside spaces. The property should be left in a condition that another tenant can move straight back in.
Making sure that you follow these pieces of advice should see you with a large part of your initial deposit returned to you. If you take the time and effort to look after the property whilst you live there then moving out should be a relatively easy process.