. This is your ultimate guide to making sure your property is left in amazing condition and that your deposit is returned to you with no deductions.
It is rare that a landlord would intend to benefit from your deposit and in fact, by law, your deposit money has to be protected by using one of the Government backed deposit schemes. Getting your money back is easy when you know how. We have conducted hundreds of these inspections and we are here to show you how to get the job done. What makes Wolf’s staff really happy is to refund your monies without the need for lengthy negotiations and the inevitable admin work that goes with paying contractor invoices!
A Detailed Inventory
Making sure a detailed inventory report is provided at the commencement of your occupation is essential and your comments on this report will be vital in ensuring you get your deposit back. It is also a great record for you to refer to. As long as everything on the inventory report is in the condition it should be, there will be no problem.
What should be included on an Inventory?
The inventory will be a detailed list including photos (in some instances) and the condition of the items will be noted, this will consist of:
-carpets and flooring
-walls, woodwork, general decoration
-curtains, blinds, window dressings
An inventory report will be provided to you at the start of your tenancy or very shortly after your occupation, you should pay close attention to this report. At the end of your tenancy, you will be required to place any furniture/ items you may have moved during your occupation to their original position, if contractors are required to attend to move items, then the cost of this will be passed on to you.
If at the end of your tenancy, you miss any cleaning, removal of rubbish etc., then you will be liable for the costs of remedial works as you will not be able to return to the property once your tenancy term is over and your keys are handed back. No one else will take responsibility for the costs, you must ensure you have paid attention to all areas of the property and hand it back in a condition you would like to find it on your move in!
Tidy, tidy, tidy! Clean, clean, clean!
When you’re moving out, the property will need to be deep cleaned ready for the next occupants and this means everything! Make good use of this checklist as some tenants do surprisingly forget some of the simplest items. For clarification, we give a helpful list below:
Clean the windows inside (including the window sills) and out (in some instances, if you live in a tower block this of course will not be possible!) Also ensure tops of curtains, pelmets/ blinds are vacuumed/ dusted
Polish and clean door knobs and handles – don’t forget the tops of doors and any mouldings
Wipe skirting boards with a damp cloth followed by buffing with a dry cloth
Wipe the tops of heaters/ radiators as these attract dust by their very nature
If after thorough vacuuming of the carpets including the edges using the crevice tool on your vacuum cleaner, they still look dirty or marked, then it may mean they need to be professionally cleaned and ensure all stains have been treated and removed to the best possible result. We can recommend a professional cleaning company for this, you may be surprised how reasonable the costs can be!
Remove all cobwebs from the dark corners and recesses you may not pay daily attention to
Dust lamps and light fittings
Unblock all plug holes in sinks and baths and ensure there is no hair lurking!
Clean tile grout with a chemical cleaner specifically designed for this use, check the instructions as some chemicals will damage grout/ sealant. A toothbrush is a great tool for getting in to small crevices
Clean the oven and hob thoroughly, if you have done this regularly throughout your tenancy, this should be a fairly straightforward job, however if you have left it for the duration, you may wish to use a professional cleaning company for this job which everyone hates! Again you may be surprised by the relatively low cost of letting someone else take the strain!
Defrost the freezer a couple of days before you are due to vacate, you will be left with a puddle which you must ensure you have mopped up thoroughly, protect floors whilst the defrosting is in process. The fridge and freezer will need to be thoroughly cleaned after the ice has gone and you must leave the appliance switched off with the door propped open to prevent an odour build up
Make sure all sanitary ware in the bathrooms/ cloakrooms is cleaned thoroughly, put a prescribed toilet cleaner down the WC or bleach works just as well
Ensure all kitchen cupboards have been emptied of food items and that each shelf and cupboard base has been wiped over thoroughly to remove any crumbs etc. Don’t forget the tops of kitchen cupboards too!
Ensure any towels or linen supplied with the property have been washed and pressed
Dispose of your rubbish correctly, make sure you take away all unwanted items as again you may be charged for removal of these if they are over and above what the local Council waste collection service will take. Check any leaflets in the property or the Council’s website
Is the furniture in the correct rooms as listed on your inventory report?
Have you left the garden in a clean and tidy condition, are the borders weeded, are the lawns mown?
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most important rooms in a property and the most frequent areas that need to have cleaners sent out to rectify cleaning that is not up to scratch, guess who will pay for this? If you live in a shared property, don’t just clean ‘your space’, you must all take responsibility for keeping the common areas clean, a rota is the best idea during the tenancy and then all working together at the end will give the best results
What is a reasonable deduction?
Occasionally deductions will have to be made, but remember: landlords cannot make a deduction for fair wear and tear. No property will be expected to be in exactly the same condition at the end of a tenancy, whether that be the minimum of 6 months or a tenancy of 6 years, as it was at the start. Ask yourself this question “If I were a new tenant, would I find this condition acceptable to move in to?” If the answer is no, then more cleaning is required!
Point worth remembering: If there are bags of rubbish left behind, a garden that needs tending, areas left uncleaned, damage not classed as fair wear and tear, then your landlord will have to pay to fix that problem, again the monies have to come from somewhere! Don’t make holes in the walls to display your prized collection of paintings, once you take your canvases away, the wall will be left in need of repair … again we don’t have to labour the point!
Please arrange to advise the appropriate utility companies, Council Tax office and Water Department of the date of the end of your tenancy (as opposed to your move out date) and your forwarding address. Please ensure that where appropriate, final meter readings are taken and proof of payment of closing bills is requested from Council Tax, Water Department and the relevant gas and electricity companies. It is important to note that your deposit will only be returned once proof has been provided to Wolf’s Ltd of the closure and final payment of all accounts.
Arrange with British Telecom to have the telephone line disconnected and the closing bill sent to your new address.
Contact your bank to cancel your standing order payment (where applicable) once your final regular rental payment has been made.
We hope that the above will assist in the smooth hand over of your property but if there is anything that you are unclear about, then please do telephone us to clarify.
If you are looking for a new rental property in the Birmingham area, get talking to Wolf's today!