The End-of-Tenancy Process

The deposit scheme is to protect deposits, in order to comply with the law. The scheme also offers adjudication as means of resolving deposit disputes as an alternative to going to court. Below are valid points for Landlords to consider at the beginning and end of a tenancy.

Landlord Obligations

At the start you must protect the deposit within 30 days of receipt. At the end of the tenancy Landlords must return the deposit/ give a proposal of deductions within ten days of the end of the tenancy.

Holding Deposits 

Some owners take a holding deposit (money to ‘hold’ a property before an agreement is signed).

Holding deposit can either be returned or converted into deposit once tenancy starts

The deposit needs to be protected once the contract is signed

Checking out

It is important to try and have your tenants present at check out. The tenant may volunteer maintenance issues such as items put in the right place or curtains rehung. If the tenant is not present, ensure the report is sent as soon as possible. Once you have itemised what you intend to claim, you should return the balance within ten days.

Ideal point to: Obtain a forwarding address, check whether the heating is on or off, confirm who the utility suppliers are and get a signature on the check out report. 

What goes in to a check out?

  • The address, date and parties presesnt
  • Overview statement of how the property appears
  • Record changes since the check in inventory
  • Identify changes are 'wear and tear' or damage
  • Missing items or items left behind
  • Deal with the level of cleanliness (or dirtiness)
  • Maintenance issues before new tenant moves in?
  • Meter readings and forwarding address
  • Key location

Managing Expectations (Landlords)

As a principle, landlords cannot expect to claim more than the cost of putting right an item. If a tenancy is longer or there are more tenants in the property, it will be expected that the proportion of 'wear and tear' is higher. 


  • For any disputes you will need to ensure you have the following:
  • Copy of tenants inventory (signed)
  • Copy of tenancy inspections that have takesn place
  • Evidence of damage (pictures)
  • An itemised list of charges you want to claim and why
  • Supported correspondance between yourself and the tenants
  • The cost to replace or repair the item
  • Itemised invoice of work that has been carried out.


If you require anymore information, please email Amy Lawson at