Handling an end of tenancy
What happens when a tenancy ends
Most tenancies end amicably, with the tenant giving notice then handing back the keys, and agreeing with the landlord or agent on any cost that needs to be paid. But some end up in disputes over the state of how the property was returned.
- check the tenancy agreement as it outlines responsibilities
- note the condition and standard of the property and its cleanliness at the start of the tenancy via an inventory report so expectations can be managed by both sides
- be open to compromise to come to an agreement
if all parties are reasonable, negotiation will be successful. In the event that you are unable to reach an amicable resolution, you have the option of using the free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services through MyDeposits for an independent and impartial decision. Alternatively, Property Redress Scheme offers free mediation to members.
What is the best way to handle complaints
Communication and discussion is always preferable than formal dispute. This will prevent delays in resolving disputes and it will reduce frustration and it will promote a good ongoing relationship between tenants and landlords.
Also, prevention is the best method. The check-in report will provide all the evidence necessary.
What is Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution can be used when tenant do not agree with their landlord or agent’s proposed costs for damage, cleaning or any other costs relating to the property. Both the landlord or landlord’s agent and tenant must agree to use this service, which is completely evidence based.
The purpose of Alternative Dispute Resolution is to make sure that the contract operates correctly. It can help landlords to present a case in a way that is most likely to result in a positive outcome.
How to use Mediation
Mediation is an interactive way of dealing with disputes between landlords and tenants, with the help of a professional third person who will not take sides.
The independent mediator will help both parties to work towards a negotiated settlement. It is a flexible and voluntary method of dispute resolution and it is completely confidential. Mediation differs to Alternative Dispute Resolution. The mediator offers alternative options for the parties to reach agreement. The average time to reach a resolution using mediation is about 10 working days.
Which documents are vital at the end of a tenancy
- a comprehensive tenancy agreement that outlines tenant’s responsibilities
- a detailed check-in and check-out report and inventory with photos and videos
- retained invoices for property items for the works carried out
- emails and written communication between the landlord or agent and tenant
End of tenancy disputes
- Cleaning fees
- Damage or missing items
- Unauthorised changes to the property
- Rent arrears
What are tenancy deposit issues
Dispute deadlines: There is a deadline of 90 days after the tenancy ended, to raise a dispute with the relevant tenancy deposit scheme. If tenants miss the 90 day deadline, they still have up to six years to raise a court claim.
Protecting deposits: Every deposit must be correctly protected. If the deposit is not protected, the landlord can face consequences.
Late deposit protection: A deposit must be protected within the prescribed time of 30 days. While a landlord can still serve a Section 21 notice, under the circumstances the tenant raises a court claim for late protection, the landlord may have to refund the deposit in full.