Maximising the Return of Your Tenancy Deposit

Getting the full tenancy deposit back when tenants leave the property at the end of the tenancy largely depends on the condition that the property has been left in.

Basically, the property should look exactly the same as when you moved in, with the exception of some reasonable wear and tear (see below).

A final check out appointment or final inspection should be conducted by comparing the condition of the property with the detailed, photographic property inventory completed at the start of the tenancy.

As an agent with over 20 years experience, the 4 most common issues found at a final inspection are:

Repairs and Damage

All damage caused by the tenant must be made good by an approved trades person. Any remedial work necessary will be usually be carried out on behalf of the landlord and the cost deducted from the deposit. The damage will be assessed by comparing the original inventory when the tenant moved in to the condition at the final inspection.


This is the big one!

It is by the far the biggest issue at the end of a tenancy. So much so that we have listed below in very great detail what tenants should clean prior to moving out.

We can pretty much guarantee that if all this was done, there would be no deductions from a tenancy deposit for cleaning issues!

If you do not wish to do the cleaning yourself, contact your property manager for the name of our professional cleaners.


  • Clean all door frames, windowsills, light switches, sliding doors and window tracks.
  • Clean windows, venetian or roman blinds and shutters.
  • Wash all marks and scuffs off walls.
  • Sweep and mop all floors removing marks and wipe skirting boards.
  • Carpets should ideally be steam cleaned.
  • Clean all light fittings and fans, wiping out dead bugs, remove all cob webs.
  • Light bulbs must be left in working order.
  • Air conditioners/extractors – filters should be removed and cleaned


  • Clean inside and outside all cupboards and doors.
  • Clean the oven – including the inside, trays, door and outside.
  • Clean the extractor hood and filter.
  • Defrost and clean inside and outside the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Clean the dishwasher with recommended dishwasher cleaning product.
  • Clean the sink.


  • Clean the floors, skirting, mirrors and windows.
  • Clean any mildew from the ceiling.
  • Clean vanity, bath, shower, shower screens.
  • Clean all tiles and grout.

Garden or yards

  • Lawns should be mowed, tidied and the garden should be free of weeds.
  • Patios should be cleaned and free from weeds.
  • Overgrown plants, shrubs and trees should be trimmed.


All keys issued at the start of the tenancy must be returned. They must be replaced if they have been lost during the tenancy.

Removal of Items

It is imperative that ALL personal items are removed from the property. It can be very expensive for tradesmen to dispose of your items as they have to pay to use the recycling plants. If is free at council tips for you to dispose of your personal belongings.

Tenants must also put any furniture back into it’s original room if it has been moved.

Wear and Tear

Landlords often have the misconception that the property should be left in the exact same condition as it was at the start of the tenancy but this is not the case!

A landlord should not end up financially or materially better off than they were at the start of the tenancy, otherwise known as ‘betterment’.

This is due to fair wear and tear. This is the deterioration to the property and its contents, fixtures and fittings by the tenant through normal and reasonable use.

So allowances must be made for:

  • The age, quality and condition at the start of the tenancy
  • The average lifespan of the item
  • The reasonable expected usage of such an item
  • The number and type of occupants in the property
  • The length of tenancy

This is why a detailed photographic inventory is so important for assessing deposit deductions.

The Agents Role

As the agent, we will always advise both landlord and tenant from a point of view of fact and fairness. Whilst we act on behalf of the landlord at all times, we have a responsibility to the tenant also to ensure that everything is fair.

The last thing that we want is a lengthy, protracted deposit dispute that is in no-ones interest.


So, stick to the 4 categories above and the tenancy deposit will be in your account within the legal timescale of 10 working days.

If you would like any further information, please contact one of our team on 01332 300196