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What Protection do Tenants Have When it Comes to Deposits?

Moving into a rented property can be a thrilling time in people’s lives. It may be their first taste of freedom from their parents, or, the next step in a happy, blossoming relationship. Yet amid all this excitement, many fail to delve into the rights and protection that they should receive as tenants of the property.
It can be something of a legal minefield when it comes to determining your rights as a tenant. For instance, there are many myths surrounding evictions that you should know about.
But often, a source of concern for tenants is the deposit amount that a landlord asks for and just how safe it is. Whether money is an issue or not, it’s important to know where you stand if you wish to see your hard-earned cash again.
How much deposit should you expect to pay?
A rent deposit is quite a common demand made by landlords who expect the utmost care to be taken of their property while you are the current tenant. The collection of this deposit acts as security in case of damage to the property or any other issues which may arise during your stay there.
In India, a residential tenant should pay no more than 2 months’ rent as a deposit, according to Zeebiz. In the UK, there are similar rules put in place. A landlord should not force a tenant to pay more than 5 weeks’ rent unless the total yearly rent is more than £50,000.
Normally you will receive at least part of the security deposit back. The amount you receive, however, may depend on issues such as if the rent hasn’t been paid or indeed some damage has occurred.
What protection is there for tenants’ security deposits?
While the landlord appears to be covered through the collection of these deposits, you may ask where is the protection for the tenant? Taking the utmost care to maintain the rental property may be the simplest way to ensure you receive your deposit back upon leaving.
However, it’s pleasing to know that there are now laws and rules governing the practice of deposit-taking.
In the UK, there is a government-backed deposit scheme to protect tenants and landlords. This came into effect in 2007. When a tenant signs a contract for a rented property, they should enter into the tenancy deposit scheme and its protection.
This makes it very clear what is expected from both parties and helps avoid any possible confusion or potential conflict in the future.
What happens if your deposit isn’t protected?
This is an unhappy scenario that will certainly bring about feelings of anger and resentment, It is best to thoroughly research what your options are, and indeed discover what is the issue with the landlord.
The way you go about recovering your security deposit may vary depending on which region or country you are in.
In India for example, you may have to resort to legal help in your quest to fight your case. In the UK, you can make a tenancy deposit scheme claim with an independent company that specialises in claiming money back from landlords who break the rules.
Your deposit should have been placed into one of the government protection schemes by the landlord, no more than one month after receiving it. If they didn’t do this, then you can claim compensation.
Common reasons that tenants lose deposits
Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed that you will receive what you are expecting. There are still issues facing tenants in claiming their deposits back. This can be for a variety of reasons, and you can be sure the landlord will inspect the property thoroughly at the end of your tenancy to see what condition you are leaving it in.
Their desire is for the property to be returned in a condition that allows immediate re-leasing. While you may feel the property is in good condition, the landlord may take umbrage with the cleanliness of the house, or indeed if there is damage to fixtures and fittings.
Costs involved with redecorating can also affect the amount of your deposit.
Other reasons to take note of include being in arrears as to the payment of the rent amount due for the property itself. Outstanding bills owed by you can be taken from your deposit. It’s best to stay on top of these expenses to avoid any issues later.
Summary
It can pay to be aware of the rights you have as a tenant in a rented property. Knowing how much of a deposit you must hand over as security could be vital to your budget plans. Be sure that you are covered by a tenancy deposit scheme to avoid any future problems.
Hopefully, you will not have to consider using any legal channels to recoup your deposit. Along with other common types of compensation claims, it is a headache that you could do without.
It’s best to keep the house in its best possible condition and avoid falling behind on any financial outgoings to give you your best chance of recouping your deposit.
But also, make sure that your landlord is abiding by any tenancy deposit scheme your country has.

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