At the end of the tenancy if you and your tenant can’t agree over any proposed deductions you wish to make to the deposit for things like cleaning costs, or garden maintenance, you may find that you need to use the free dispute resolution service provided by your deposit protection scheme to resolve the matter.
Every dispute resolution service is evidence based so it’s vital that you begin to prepare your evidence from the beginning of the tenancy. Remember that the deposit is the tenant’s money and it’s up to you to prove that they have breached the tenancy agreement and that you have incurred a loss, which is why producing the right evidence is key to the outcome.
Just what type of evidence you need is sometimes confusing, so deposit protection scheme my|deposits Scotland have created a dispute evidence checklist for all landlords and letting agents.
The checklist, which can be downloaded here, gives a step by step guide on what you should be doing before, during and after the tenancy to ensure you’re covered if there is any dispute.
New video guidance
As well as the checklist, my|deposits Scotland have also created a detailed dispute evidence video guide which explains what happens when a dispute is handled by our independent adjudicators who use the evidence based Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
When a tenancy is coming to an end, you should have clear and open communications with your tenants to remind them of their obligations such as to ensure the property is cleaned properly (if that was indicated in the Tenancy Agreement at the start) before they move out and to notify them of any rent arrears.
Arrange with your tenant to do a check out report. Walk through the property together and check its condition against the inventory. You’ll usually be able to come to an agreement then and there over the deposit. By following the checklist, you’ll be armed with everything you need in the unlikely event there is a deposit dispute.
Why not download the checklist now and print a copy for each of your tenancies?
The guest blog article was contributed by Ian Langley, Director of mydeposits Scotland, a Lettingweb corporate partner. To speak to Ian about helping you with deposit disputes or best practice in the industry, click here.