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Deposit dispute

Many landlords do not do an inventory prior to a new tenant commencing occupation, and if they do the inventory is insufficiently detailed, should a deposit dispute arise when the tenancy comes to an end.

What is also important is that any photographs or videos taken are date and time stamped.  As most of us now use our mobile phones to take photos, date and time stamping is not usually a standard feature.  There are date stamping apps available for this purpose.

Essential Photo’s:

  • Video or take photos of all windows and doors being opened and closed, proving they are in full working order. Particularly that the profiles are clean and that each window has a key.
  • If you are leaving white goods, such as a washing machine, oven, fridge freezer. They can often be neglected by tenants.  Take photos of the washing machine dispense drawer, inside the clean and empty fridge or freezer, and inside the oven showing clean racks and trays.
  • Photo and record the size of any marks on carpets, curtains and kitchen work surfaces.
  • Photo all keys being provided including meter and window keys. State on your inventory how many of each key is being provided.  It is recommended that at least two sets of the door keys are provided.
  • Don’t forget to photo any loft space.
  • Photo and put property numbers on all wheelie bins


Mercian Law’s other top tips:

We also recommend that you mention in your tenancy agreement and to your letting agents (if you are using one) where the stop cock is located in the event of an emergency.

If you have the property professionally cleaned before the tenancy commences, provide a copy of the receipt to the tenant, and note in the tenancy agreement cleaning charges will be deducted from the deposit if the property is not left in a satisfactory state.  This includes carpets, curtains and ovens.

Often, if you seek deductions from the deposit, and the tenant raises a dispute, unless you have very detailed inventories with supporting photo’s and/ or video’s, your deduction request is unlikely to be successful.

Mercian Law can advise and assist with deposit disputes should you ever find yourself in such a position with an outgoing tenant.

Posted by Verity Grigg


Deposit dispute