A big source of arguments occurs at end of the tenancy when trying to get all, or part of your deposit back.
The landlord (or agent) might try to withhold money from the deposit for:-
- rent arrears
- damage to the property
- missing items from the property
- cleanliness, especially the oven.
If you agree that money can be withheld from the deposit because of any of the above, you might be asked to sign an agreement to that effect. If you disagree with the amount being proposed you will need to go to arbitration . Try to discuss/negotiate with the landlord before it goes to arbitration, as this will help your case.
To avoid the potential of a dispute:-
- don’t get into rent arrears
- ensure any damage to the property is reported to the landlord, as soon as possible
- ensure at the time you leave, the property is in the state of cleanliness, and repair/damage as the time you took it on.
An inventory/checkin report is useful for this.
It is a good idea to take your own photographs/inventory on the last day, in case any problems are referred to arbitration – you normally will not be able to gain access after the tenancy has finished. If at all possible, get someone independent to take the photographs; date stamp them to show when they were taken, and/or photograph a newspaper with that days date on, also showing part of the property.