Tips to Help Prevent Losing your Rental Deposit

A lot of people rent as it’s often the best choice for them. There are no concerns about repair costs, you have a fixed duration on your tenancy and with a wide choice of properties and locations to choose from, renting can trump buying.

There are lots of laws to protect you as a tenant, this includes protecting a tenant’s deposit with a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme. It will protect a tenant from the landlord keeping the deposit for unjustified reasons.

Here are some of the reasons for deposits being withheld.


When renting a little wear and tear is expected and accidents can happen. From stains on oven tops to discoloured mattresses and carpets, keeping the property as clean as when you moved in can be difficult and even more so if you have had a long tenancy.

Tips to help keep your deposit:

Mattress protectors are a great investment, clean any spills straight away, keep carpets clean with a stain remover and use any inventory images you have to compare.

If there is a lot of cleaning to do, you should consider hiring a professional before you move out rather than the landlord doing it and billing you.


You will more than likely want to personalise your rental. If you are putting things on walls use a mark-free adhesive, if you do find any marked walls, they should be easy to cover. Carpets are one of the main things that get marked and pulled. Dodgy DIY is also a big no-no in a rental.

Tips to help keep your deposit:

The best tip for protecting your deposit is always ask your landlord prior to doing anything permanent in the property, this could be anything from painting to replacing something, without asking you could end up losing some or all of your deposit. Keep carpet cleaner to hand and also find out the paint colour and buy matching paint and filler to keep the property looking as fresh as possible. Leave any DIY to your landlord.


You might think that garden isn’t as important as the property but maintaining the garden is key to ensuring your deposit is returned.

Tips to help keep your deposit:

When your tenancy ends, make sure you cut any grass and shrubbery and clear any rubbish. The weather can cause problems so if fences are damaged by the wind report them straight away to your landlord, so they can be fixed before you move out.


When moving you can end up with furniture and other items that need to be moved too. Just leaving them without getting permission is a problem and the landlord will not appreciate it.

Tips to help keep your deposit:

Don’t just throw it away, if it’s in good condition, see if you can donate the furniture. If it’s not an option ask the landlord if they are okay with it being left in the house before just assuming.

Broken furniture

A furnished house is quite common, again accidents can happen, and a little wear and tear should be okay but any broken furniture could mean you lose some or all of your deposit.

Tips to help keep your deposit:

Make sure any furniture is fixed, if that’s not possible speak to the landlord as they may be okay with the damage or charge for a replacement, if you report it as soon as possible and before your tenancy ends, it will hopefully result in no penalty to your deposit.


You should contact your landlord if there are any issues with the property. Also, take a detailed inventory so any property issues are reported at the start of your tenancy to avoid a penalty down the line. And last but not least, it’s simple but a thorough clean of the property before your tenancy ends should protect you!

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