Once you come to the end of your tenancy, you should be looking to get your deposit back. But how do you make sure you receive it all? Here are some of the most common reasons tenants lose some deposit, so you can avoid making the same mistakes!


A survey carried out by ‘End of Tenancy London’ found that 80% of those who weren’t refunded the full deposit amount hadn’t cleaned thoroughly enough before moving out. Deep clean each room as it’s emptied when leaving the property. A deep clean should involve things like washing down walls, degreasing kitchens (including on top of cupboards) and cleaning all the high places we tend to forget about because nobody sees, like the tops of door frames.

If Landlords have to hire professional cleaners because the property is not up to a good standard, the cleaning fee will likely come out of your deposit!

Forgetting the Simple Things

Another reason tenants are likely to lose part of a deposit is from the lack of maintaining the property to a reasonable standard. Tasks such as keeping the garden tidy or failure to maintain sinks or drainage can be costly. These are especially important to consider if you’re coming to the end of a longer tenancy.

If your Landlord has to call for a professional to help fix issues caused by missing simple tasks, it will likely increase the chance of you losing some or all of your deposit, depending on the level of work required.

Unpaid Bills 

If you pay your rent and bills separately, and you think you can just leave the last month’s bills unpaid, think again. This can mean landlords have the right to automatically take that payment from your deposit. Be sure to make a list of all the bills you have to make sure that there are no nasty surprises at the end of your tenancy.

Missing or extra belongings

If items are missing that were there to start with, you could have some deposit deducted. If an item is broken during your tenancy, it’s better to let your landlord know right away as then it can be sorted quickly, and, depending on the reason for the item breaking, may not affect you financially. Similarly you could have some deposit taken if you leave items behind that will need clearing out before new tenants move in. The cost of the removals may be deducted from your deposit. 

Damage or changes to the property 

You could face deposit loss if you leave parts of the property damaged. If you have drilled holes and not filled them or decorated and not returned the property to how it was when you moved in, you could risk having some or all of your deposit held. 

Always ensure you have the landlord’s permission before making any changes (including decorating) to the property and make sure you also get in writing how the property should be left at the end of tenancy. 

There is a process Landlords have to go through when it comes to taking and looking after your deposit. In England and Wales landlords have to store your deposit in a government backed deposit scheme where the landlord has to provide an itemised list of deductions. If you dispute this the deposit is held until the matter is resolved and then the deposit can be released. It must be returned to you within 10 days. 

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