Crucial checklist for landlords returning tenants security deposits

Posted: 14/06/2012

There are two options to cover any costs if your property has been damaged by a tenant. The first would be landlord insurance and the second is a security deposit from your tenant. If you choose the latter of the two options, Pali have created an essential checklist before you consider handing back a security deposit back to the tenant.

First of all, before a tenant moves into your property, you must create an inventory which details the items in your property and their condition which must be signed and agreed by youself and your tenant. From this, you can check if anything has been damaged when the tenant is ready to move on.

1. Condition of floors and walls including marks and stains
2. Check that the central heating is working#
3. Cleanliness of outside areas
4. Free running water through drains
5. Windows and doors close properly
6. Window keys present
7. Check that the locks have not been changed
8. Working appliances
9. Garages, attics and garages
10. Clean and clear kitchen cupboards
11. Was the oven and extractor fan cleaned regularly?
12. Broken Furniture
13. Have any plants been removed?

 Alternative things you may want to sort out before returning the security deposit;

> Forward post
> Check utilities are changed over or stopped as tenants will try to leave debts behind them and you may be chased for them.
> Check if you are entitled to Council Tax relief for the property with it being vacant for a period of time.

If a dispute arises and court action is needed, be warned that the court can award 3 times the security deposit to the tenant, so make good use of Pali's checklist!

You are not obliged to give the tenant their deposit back before they vacate the property, but make it clear to them how long they may expect to wait.

Don’t let tenants leave their furniture behind, if it wasn’t their before they moved it, then they must take it with them.

I hope this blog was helpful to you and good luck!

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments landlord, tenant, court, council

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