Want your security deposit back? Follow these simple rules!

Moving house can be an exciting time but at the same time it can be stressful. From packing up the old house, redirecting your mail, sorting things out with the landlord, trying to get your security deposit back, unpacking and the list goes on.

So why not make moving home a little easier for yourself this time round and follow these simple tips which will help you end things on a good note with your landlord and most importantly, get that security deposit back!


What is a deposit?

When entering a lease with your landlord, you will be asked for a deposit (usually equal to the sum of one months rent). The deposit is used alongside the contract to cover the property in case you as a tenant decide not to abide by the rules or leave the property in a worse state than when you moved in. So to avoid this happening, we have made a list of the top 6 ways to ensure you get your deposit back when you move out.

1. Check the Inventory before signing the lease

It is crucial that before signing a lease the landlord or agent has compiled a inventory of the property condition. You should review this document thoroughly to ensure it is a true reflection of the possessions and the condition of the property. Once satisfied with the inventory document only then should you sign the lease. It is important that you keep your inventory and lease documents safe during the term of your tenancy.

2. Take pictures

If you take pictures of any issues at the beginning of your lease this should help your case at the end of your tenancy if a dispute arises. Take a picture with a timestamp so when it comes to getting your deposit back you can prove the imperfections were there before you moved in.

3. If something breaks…fix it

When you move into your new flat, you want to treat it like it is yours and give it the love and respect it deserves. If you manage to break something or cause accidental damage, then it is your responsibility to do something about it. Left holes in the wall from hanging your favourite picture? Make sure and fill the holes and if necessary paint the wall. Ideally you are looking to leave the place as good as you would like to move into it. A landlord will only keep your deposit if you make them fix your repairs and they will use your money to do so.

4. Check your contract

We know that contracts are rarely read but that can usually be the difference between getting your deposit back and not. Usually within your contract there will be a clause which states what is necessary for you to do to get your deposit back. Your contract is an agreement with the landlord which states what is and what is not acceptable within your new flat…which ultimately leads to:

5. Knowing the Rules

We all know breaking the rules can be tempting, for example if the contract states, no pets…then unfortunately you can’t have pets! We know it’s just a small cat that causes no trouble usually but the landlords set the rules and if they aren’t stuck by then it can cause them to keep your deposit! Harsh but true.

6. Deep clean

When the landlord walks back into their property, they want it practically ready to rent out the next day so for you that means, get cleaning! Make sure and clean every nook and cranny from the inside corners of kitchen cupboards to a sparkly clean toilet. As well as this make sure and empty everything as well. We know you think your doing well by leaving your bits and bobs you think someone might get use out of but it may just be an inconvenience to someone else getting rid of it, so be on the safe side and just take it with you.


There you have it! Six tips to help you get back your deposit. No one likes to keep your deposit for no reason as a landlord or an agent don’t want bad press. They also hope that you will rent out one of their other properties so it’s in everyone’s best interest to follow the rules.

If you follow the rules, treat the property as if it was your own and leave it in the condition you got it, then you will be refunded your deposit. Simple, right?

If you’re a tenant looking for a new home or a landlord looking to use a letting agent to manage your property, please contact us here.

Gary Murray Property Manager Empire PropertyGary Murray

Managing Director of Empire Property