Busted! 3 Tenancy Deposit Myths
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Busted! 3 Tenancy Deposit Myths
The UK Government operates three primary Tenancy Deposit Schemes, which are set-up to safeguard a tenant’s security deposit and prevent landlords from treating this as a source of personal income.
Despite the prevalence of such schemes and the importance of safeguarding your capital as a tenant, it’s fair to say that this remains something of a grey area (often for both Tenants and Landlords alike).
This can prevent people from making Tenancy deposit claims in the UK, while it also means that this particular aspect of the law is shrouded in doubt and confusion.
In this post, we’ll strip away some of this mystery by busting three of the most common tenancy deposit myths!
1. There are No Rules Governing what a Landlord Can Deduct From A
The laws and regulations surrounding Tenancy deposit claims continue to evolve, and the most recent adaptations have caused some people to believe that the restrictions on security deposits have been lifted of late.
This is completely untrue, however, as there remain a select few legally valid reasons for Landlords to withhold some or all of your deposit. These include unpaid rent and utilities, the latter of which is charged to the house, and ultimately the landlord if bills continue to go without being addressed.
The most common withholdings are the result of damage, waste, or neglect of the property that’s caused directly by tenants, although such instances also tend to include claims for unpaid rent arrears.
In rarer cases, landlords can withhold some of your security deposit concerning unpaid monthly municipal permit fees (in mobile homes) or other factors that may be laid out in an underlying lease under ‘Nonstandard Rental Provisions’.
2. If The Landlord Fails To Return A Tenancy Deposit Within 21 Days, The Tenant Gets the Whole Amount Back
This is another blatantly untrue assertion and one that often causes huge confusion amongst renters in the UK.
According to the law, a landlord is supposed to return a security deposit (or provide a list of deductions) within 21 days of a lease ending or a new tenancy beginning on the premises, whichever of these events comes first.
However, if a Landlord doesn’t comply with this law and fails to return the security deposit within 21 days of the relevant date, we can help initiate a tenancy deposit claim and raise a challenge through the courts.
The landlord may attempt to make subsequent proposals for deduction over claims of alleged damage, as such at the start of a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy the tenant should endeavour to take pictures of the inside and outside of the property making note of any pre existing damage to parts of the property and make sure to notify the Landlord of those. This should be done at the start of the Tenancy and repeated at the end after carrying out a thorough clean of the property.
3. Landlords Can Claim For Routine Carpet Cleaning (And Similar
Maintenance) As Part Of Their Deductions
While landlords are perfectly entitled to propose reductions for any damage that’s caused by a tenant (particularly in instances where they have to fund a subsequent repair), this doesn’t include routine maintenance tasks such as carpet cleaning.
The reason for this is simple; as this represents normal ‘wear and tear’ that a landlord should expect to see after an extended rental agreement or tenancy.
The same principle can be applied to routine painting and the replacement of appliances that belong to the landlord, as unless they’ve been adversely damaged by the tenant, they bear no responsibility for repairing or upgrading this.
Of course, there may be some instances where a carpet has been heavily stained by the tenant, and in this instance, the landlord can charge the individual question for subsequent cleaning.
However, this cannot be done as a deduction to the security deposit, so this type of issue should be challenged with a tenancy deposit claim if the landlord is unwilling to back down!