So you want to get your deposit back and you’re not sure what you need to do. That’s great, you’re in the right place.
To be fair, these tips will work in any town or city and not just Cambridge.
You’ll notice a theme running through this article and that is “get professional help” (if you can afford it). If not, then give yourself up to 7 days to move out and get all the work done and don’t leave it till the last moment. Not only will you rush through the jobs, but you’ll most likely forget something.
There are 2 reasons why you are moving. Either your letting agent or landlord has asked you to leave by serving notice or you have asked to leave by giving one month’s notice. Whatever the reason, your mission to get your deposit back starts here.
The are several reasons why both landlords and letting agents refuse to give you your deposit back and here are just a few of them.
1. Get A List From Your Agent
If you are dealing with an agent, then ask them for a list of all of the things that you need to do. Any self-respecting agent will do this anyway, but just in case, ask them for this early so you can start planning your mission to get your deposit back.
In my experience, you always want to work backwards and for this you need to find out if you have any holiday left from your place of work. Determining how much holiday you have will give you an idea of when you need to move out and when how much time it will take to get everything up to scratch.
From the date you need to officially hand the keys back ensure you book either the removal company or van hire company 7 days in advance. This gives you a full 7 days to move and get your flat or house in a condition to re-let.
If you haven’t got any left then the only time you can get anything done (providing you work Monday to Friday) is at the weekend. If this is the case, then I suggest you use the weekend before you hand the keys back to move out and then get the cleaning, painting etc done the evenings beforehand.
2. Book Your Van Hire or Removal Company
Once you have worked out the day you need to move, the very first job to do is book your van hire or removal company.
As usual, do a search online and get a few quotes, I’d say around 4-5. When choosing your company have a look at the reviews, do a search for their company name online but don’t go for the cheapest. This is a common mistake most tenants do.
Always go for the price that’s middle of the road. There’s normally a reason why the cheapest quote is the cheapest. They are either not very good and need to win the business via price or they are not very busy and need to drop the price to win business.
Get the confirmation time, date and price confirmed via email. Here’s the important addition. Add this date to your diary and add a second date (7 days before that date) to confirm with the company that the appointment is still booked in. This is where a lot of tenants slip up. Most of these companies are one man bands and a rubbish with paperwork, especially if you called them whilst they were in the middle of something. This will ensure that their schedule syncs up with your own.
I ask you to do this since there many things you need to book and organise and timing is everything if you want this to go smoothly.
We often have tenants call us asking where we are or what time we are showing up, bearing in mind they never booked anything with us. Make sure you write down the company name, person you spoke to and contact number.
3. Ask Your Friends For Help
If you have friends, be sure to ask them for help as early as possible so they can arrange their diary and time off too. It’s surprising how much can get done with an extra pair of hands. If your friends can’t help all day, not a problem, just work out how many hours they can lend you and give them a basic task like cleaning the windows or kitchen cupboards. These aren’t hard jobs to do but will save you a ton of time.
4. Painting Your Walls
If you have been living in your rental property for a number of years, you’ll probably need to get some painting done.
Most landlords require the wall colour to go back to the original (check this). Before you paint, ask the landlord or agent and confirm the colour you intend on using. You may even find on the odd occasion that the landlord is willing to do this themselves saving you an additional job. If this is the case, make sure you get this in writing via email.
Tip: If your idea is to fill in holes where you have hung pictures or had hooks, then ensure you fill them in properly and paint the ENTIRE WALL (sorry for the all caps) but the main mistake that tenants make is to paint the part of the wall where they have filled the holes which means they stick out like a sore thumb in comparison to the rest of the wall. Yep, I know it’s a pain, but this simple tip will save you a much harsher pain further down the road.