How to get a deposit back!

How to get a deposit back!


Checking Out?

How to get a deposit back!

We know that moving out can be a stressful and difficult time - especially because your property needs to be returned in the same condition it was in when you moved in (with the exception of a small amount of 'wear and tear').  If you leave it to the last minute, it will often lead to a lot of extra hard work and expense - inevitably followed by a retention from your deposit.

Maher Ross deal only with deposits for the properties that they fully manage - and if you are worried that there may be a significant retention, then it's advisable to invite us around to have a quick look before you check out.

Your deposit is lodged in the name of the "Lead Tenant" and will generally be released only to them.  This can occasionally cause problems for tenants if they 'split-up' or otherwise move on - just one example of why it really can pay to keep on good terms with your partner!

Our Advice

As with anything, we advise you to start early!

We suggest you remind yourself of the condition of the property when you moved in - have a look at the inventory and photo disks.

Then, download and print a copy of the Maher Ross Checkout Form - it has a handy checklist on the back!


Please remember to clean the property thoroughly, you may need to launder curtains, clean carpets, wipe down walls - and pay particular attention to any limescale and mould.

If you have had a pet, then you are required to clean the carpets professionally and arrange for pest-control treatment.  It will help you to retain your deposit if you can leave out a receipt proving this.

Sometimes, we find that our tenants have changed their gas and electricity meters from credit meters to 'Key Meters'.  If you have done this, then please arrange to change them back before your check-out as we are required to charge you £120 per meter to fix this ourselves.

Please don't forget to clear out any outbuildings, replace any blown lightbulbs, change the filter on the cooker hood and clean the windows.  Finally, please ensure that your rubbish bins are emptied - it is not acceptable to leave them out for collection and can cost around £40 a bin to ask a contractor to empty them.

The Checkout 

When you’ve left the property, we usually arrange for an Independent Checkout Clerk to inspect the property and to carefully compare it with the Inventory.  Any issues in addition to Fair Wear and tear will be listed and if the Clerk recommends a retention, then it will be costed at standard commercial rates.

It’s not usual for a tenant to attend the checkout because the independent clerk will return to their own office from the property before carefully cross-checking photo’s from their inspection with the significant amount of data on the Inventory DVD’s. 

Sometimes, Maher Ross tenants are disappointed because deposit deductions are usually based on rates charge by a commercial contractor who is able to undertake the work at short notice.  Please bear in mind that we can only use fully qualified, insured, reliable and professional firms to carry out the work - who need to be able to attend in accordance with our access limitations.  This often has the result of lifting the costs into ‘commercial’ territory.  For example, to replace a standard light-bulb will be no less than £4, or an hour’s cleaning or gardening will be costed at £25. 

If Maher Ross is required to arrange for additional work to get the property up to standard, then we charge for our time and any additional costs by applying the additional charges listed in Appendix A and throughout your Tenancy Agreement.  These work out at up to £84 for every additional inspection required, up to £108 per hour for professional Agency Fees and an additional surcharge of 25% for general repairs and the replacement of inventory items.

If the property is in really poor condition, and we need to spend a significant amount of our time resolving the issues, then we reserve the right to charge a further 25 % on the overall total costs for arranging for the work to be carried out - as you agreed within Appendix A of your Tenancy Agreement.

A few days after the Checkout Inspection, Maher Ross will receive the Independent Checkout Report and we will check with the Landlord (who paid for it), before notifying the tenant of any retention required.

We then reflect this with the Deposit Protection Service - where we lodge most of our deposits.  Tenants can contact the DPS using their helpline on 0330 303 0030.

Tenants are required to log on to the DPS website by using their PIN number (issued to them at the start of the tenancy), and to notify the DPS of their own bank account details.

Tenants are occasionally unhappy with the contents of the Independent Report and the retention it recommends.  In this case, we recommend that you discuss this first with Maher Ross and we may be able to resolve some of the issues for you.  Should you wish to take the matter to arbitration or even further, then, as agreed within the tenancy agreement, we reserve the right to add a further 25% to the overall retention figure recommended by the Independent Clerk, in addition to any Court costs to cover some of our own expenses.

Ask us Any Questions

We know that moving on from your property can be a daunting experience and despite some of the restrictions outlined above, we really are here to help!  If you have any queries on how your property should be left and what your responsibilities are, don’t hesitate to contact us at Maher Ross on 01983 563000.

For more information about ending your tenancy click HERE