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Question Over Return Of Deposit

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hi all

we moved out of a rental a few weeks ago and the landlord outlined how he would charge us for some damage to a floor and some gardening ( yes, the usual stuff! )

we planned to contest this, so asked for the balance of the deposit to be returned before negotiating the costs down. We were told by the agent that the landlord would need to agree to return the balance, which he hasn't done.

predictably, we receive a ranting email from the landlord stating that the costs for the damages are extremely fair and if we think otherwise, he will increase them and send us a 'revised' breakdown of costs, including everything he has kindly omitted so far...this is exactly the reason we wanted to get the balance back first! :)

this seems to circumvent the TDS rules no?

thanks in advance

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I did the whole TDS thing a last year. It is time consuming, but fair.

Firstly, take a look at their website. It tells you exactly what your rights are and what you must do to claim your deposit back.

In a nutshell, your landlord has to return the uncontested amount. His refusal to do so and written rant will undermine his case. You must formaly ask for the return of your deposit, that means a letter sent by recorded delivery. Given that you are in dispute, you may aswell ask for all of it back, but there is nothing to stop you agreeing to a deduction. If you don't get your money back then you have to make a claim through TDS. The time scale is very short to start the claim, so don't waste anytime.

The onus is on your landlord to prove the state of your rental at check-in and check-out, that you are liable for the damage, and that the deduction is fair. It's a tall order for your typical stupid landlord.

Claim fair wear and tear, and that the garden was left in a similar state to how you found it, send in the email rant. Sit back and relax!

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hmmm, I've just spoken to the deposit scheme, and they've told me that the landlord can ask for more money if the case goes to dispute, so it's not as straightforward as it seems!

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hmmm, I've just spoken to the deposit scheme, and they've told me that the landlord can ask for more money if the case goes to dispute, so it's not as straightforward as it seems!

It's definitely not straightforward. But it's not complicated either.

You should treat the return of your deposit as a game of bluff, and negotiate from there. Your landlord is threatening you with a bigger deduction to your deposit if you don't accept his terms? It's a game. Ssk yourself, what evidence does he have to support his deductions? If he has none, then you are likely to get your money back.

You've got a much stronger hand now that the TDS is involved. The dispute wont start until one of you initiates it, and you have to jump through a few hoops before you can do that. Don't leave it too late, there is a time limit.

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Take pictures when you move in of ANYTHING that is not perfect. The email them to yourself for a date stamp and reference.

When moving out take pictures of literally you cleaning everything - pics of you wearing your marigolds, scrubbing the over, all teh cleaning products you are using, before and after of select things (bathroom for example).

If the landlord contests the deposit - faced with the above being submitted to the third party - I imagine nearly all will give up immediately.

Even if they continue to contest - It's going to be very difficult for the Landlord to counter that.

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