3 top tips to avoid deposit disputes

Deposit disputes between tenants and landlords can be stressful. Follow these simple steps to help reduce the risk of disputes taking place.

1. Inventories

A good, reputable letting agent or landlord should conduct an inventory before handing over the keys, which is then signed by both the tenant and the landlord.

An inventory is a document which shows any wear and tear, damages or imperfections in the properties buildings or contents. It basically details the state of the property at the point the tenant takes residence.

The best inventories are photo or video inventories, as there can be no disputing the state of the property.

At the end of the tenancy, any damages which aren’t detailed on the inventory are then said to be due to the fault of the tenant and so repair or replacement costs could be deducted from the deposit.

Inventories can be pricey but could save you from losing a few hundred pounds in a deposit dispute if you can’t prove the damage was due to the tenant.

2. Know your tenants

Having a good relationship with your tenant can stop disputes occurring. Most disputes are resolved between the tenant and the landlord directly without having to go to an adjudicator. You may be able to come to some arrangement over any repairs or damages.

A good tenant should inform you of any repairs that need to be carried out which in turn allows you as the landlord to reduce the damage to your property and stop them from disputing any claims.

 3. Insurance

Insurance is available for both tenants and landlords which covers both parties against accidental or malicious damage that’s caused to the property.  

It’s inconvenient if the tenant damages the property and you’re unable to reclaim costs through the deposit. However, if you have the correct insurance in place you can rectify the damages by submitting a claim.

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Claire Fagan

Written by Claire Fagan; an Endsleigh colleague. 

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