A check out is required to conclude every tenancy and if done thoroughly, it will eliminate any risk of any deposit dispute between the tenant and the landlord or the tenant and property agent.
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As part of the checkout process, you should inform your tenants of their precise responsibilities in preparation for the check-out. You must give your tenant the opportunity to be present at the checkout stage.
This process should be used to closely inspect the rental property for any damage, as well as examining its cleanliness and overall condition. The inventory which was created at the beginning of the tenancy should be examined thoroughly to cross-reference and see in clear detail whether the condition of the property has altered.
If the property has suffered any dilapidations, or if there have been any changes to its overall condition, these should be noted against the inventory.
Of course, we must take ‘wear and tear’ into consideration. We must expect items to change over time based on their age and usage, but damage such as chips, rips or burns is in a different category and wouldn’t count as ‘fair wear and tear’.
If the property is given back in the same condition as it originally was, then the check-out can be signed off and the tenants deposit can be released. However, if there are deductions to be made then the tenant should be made aware before the check-out report is finalised.
In the event that a tenants disputes the deposit deductions, evidence must be submitted by both parties to the Deposit Service Scheme who will make the final decision.
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