Home > All you need to know about the return of your rental deposit


All you need to know about the return of your rental deposit

Written by Geruza Nzongo, at  HouseME, Smart Property Rental for Landlords and Tenants.


Reading Time: 5 Minutes


No one wants to play a 12-month long guessing game as to whether your full deposit will be returned at the end of your lease agreement.


You’ve given 20 business days notice that you’re cancelling the lease and you’ve maintained the property and you’re confident that it is in the same state it was when it was given to you at the start of the lease.


So apart from insufficient notice periods and damage to the property, are there any other valid reasons for a landlord or agent to make deductions to your security deposit? Read below for some points to take note of.

3 Factors that could affect the return of your full deposit

1. Have you paid your rent in full and on time?

If the answer is no, then your landlord or rental agent can charge you for missing payments on rent or utilities and deduct this from your security deposit. These charges can include any banking fees from failed debit orders or the cost of issuing a letter of demand where applicable.

2. Does your lease agreement mention a deposit administration fee?

Some lease agreements speak to a deposit administration fee. This is a fee agents can charge to hold your security deposit on your behalf. Deposits are held in an interest-bearing account by agents. The deposit administration fee can be in the form of a monthly or once-off fee and is deductible from your security deposit.

3. Have you cancelled your lease agreement early?

A lot can change in 12 months. You may have signed a one-year lease and now need to cancel it. The Consumer Protection Act gives you as the tenant the option to end a lease early. When a tenant cancels early, this cancellation is subject to a reasonable cancellation fee which is usually the equivalent of two full months’ rent or the remaining value of the lease. Tenants can opt to use their security deposits to cover the early cancellation fee. You’d just need to give your agent your consent in writing to use your security deposit in this manner.

What if your landlord refuses to refund your full deposit?

Sometimes this happens, no matter how great you think your landlord is. Things change and even if you are the perfect tenant, your landlord may not refund your full deposit at the end of your lease.

Here are 3 tips to help you get your deposit back:

1. Have a look at the clause(s) in your lease agreement that speaks to your security deposit. This clause should specify permissible deductions. So before signing your lease agreement, have a look at what is specified so that there aren’t any surprises at the end of the lease.


2. Attend your outgoing inspection. This is a great opportunity for the landlord to point out any damages that you’re liable for. Compare those damages within the ingoing snag list if you are disputing any claims.


3. If you’ve had a great relationship with your landlord for the duration of your lease, then sometimes an open and honest conversation may just do the trick. Chat to the landlord directly about any invoices and deductions that you are not in agreement with. You may just reach an amicable settlement.

Why stress about the return of your deposit when you can rent DepositFREE™? 🏠

HouseME is all about making renting as stress-free as possible, which is why you have the option to rent without paying a deposit. We know that not everyone has two months deposit at the ready for your new dream home and we would hate for you to miss out.  Have a look at our deposit options here for something that suits your budget and current situation.

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About HouseME: 

HouseME Founders Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley

We’re on a mission to transform residential renting using technology and placing data-centric decision making at its heart. We’re committed to be the smartest way to rent, for landlords and tenants alike, making the whole process fair and stress-free. Register here and start renting smart. 


 HouseME’s Co-Founders, Kyle Bradley and Ben Shaw.


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