Student Blog

How we make deposits fair

How we make deposits fair

Why deposit returns shouldn’t be a rip off

Do you know who likes deposit deductions?

No one. Landlords and agents aren’t happy when we need to make deductions from a deposit return. It means we’ve had to organise extra cleaning or maintenance for a property, which costs time, energy and money.

And we know that tenants rely on as much of their deposit as possible coming back to them.

That’s why everyone at Purple Frog works hard to make sure that deposit returns are as fair as possible.

We can’t promise you that there won’t be deductions. But we can promise you that we will do lots of things to make the process as transparent, open and fair as possible.

We do this by:

1. Letting you know what’s expected

You will find lots of information about deposits on our website. We have a page dedicated to explaining things you need to be aware of that will help you keep your deposit. This means when you leave, there’s less chance of the property needing extra work to make it ready for the new tenants. By following the advice you find on the website, it’s a lot less likely that you’ll end up being charged for cleaning or repairs.

You can also find lots of helpful information about how our deposit system works. These guides will give you a good idea of what your expectations should be when you will get your deposit back. You’ll also find a page on the site that explains about the process of moving out. Plus, there are also blogs (like this one), which should give you helpful advice on the actual process of your deposit being returned.

We realise that you lead a busy life and that there are lots of better ways to spend your time than reading stuff on our website. That’s why we also email you before the end of your tenancy.

This means that you can be prepared well in advance of moving out day. This includes reporting any maintenance issues that you might have been ‘getting around to’, so we know about them before doing an inspection.

You’ll also get a moving out check list. This gives details of the types of things we look for when calculating deposit deductions and instructing cleaners and maintenance people.

2. Ensuring you’re prepared

To help you with your end of tenancy cleaning, we give out magic sponges. These clever little sponges are great for removing marks from walls. Best of all, they are free to tenants. You just need to come to the office to collect them.

Even armed with free cleaning equipment and your move out check list, you might need to double check you’ve got everything covered. That’s why we offer pre-final inspections. This is when a member of the Purple Frog team will visit the property and carry out a mock inspection. They will let you know anything that you need to sort out, so you have time to do it before the day.

This will help make sure that there are fewer opportunities to miss damage or dirt, which might end up as deductions later.

So far, there’s been a lot of cleaning in this blog. That’s because the majority of deductions are caused by needing to hire cleaners or maintenance people to set problems right, before the new tenants move in.

If you’d rather climb into a sack with an angry cat than do cleaning, we can organise a professional cleaner to come to the house. You will need to organise this service with your local branch. You will also need to arrange this at least a month before you’re due to leave. You’ll also need to pay for the cleaning, too.

3. Meeting you face to face

When you move out, we always want one of the tenants to accompany us on the final inspection. Meeting with you face to face means that you have an opportunity to see the inspection, as it happens. It will also give you an idea of why we need to add any deductions.

Most importantly though, you have a final chance to correct any small things that otherwise you might get charged for.

Our check out inspection team also tend to bring cleaning materials along with them. They’re always happy to pitch in to make sure you don’t get a charge for something that we can fix on the spot.

4. Giving you an opportunity to dispute

Even after all this, sometimes we might still need to take deductions from your deposit.

Once all of the checks are complete and you have sent in the necessary paperwork, we send you a deposit statement. We aim to do this within 28 days.

This is the final list of deductions we think we need to make. We won’t add deductions once this has been sent to you.

If you disagree with this final list, please tell us.

You have every right to dispute charges that you think should be removed. After all, we might have made a mistake. We only ask that you do this after you have received your deposit statement – this is the only way for you to know exactly what you want to dispute.

To make disputing a deduction simpler for you, there is a system in place so it is easy for you to send us the details and any evidence that you have. Again, please don’t dispute until you know what the final charges are.

Your dispute will be investigated by a different member of the team than the person who did your check out.

We aim to reply to all disputes within five days.

Quick tip: if you are disputing any charges, we ask you to provide any evidence that you think might be useful. The best way to ensure you have this is to take plenty of time-stamped photos of your property when you arrive. Then take more when you leave. Make sure you include things like marks on walls or damage that is there when you move in.

We look after hundreds of properties and might not be familiar with all the details of your property. Having this evidence will be really helpful to make sure we can remove any deductions that we’ve added in error.

5. Using a recognised deposit protection scheme

This means that only tenants can access their deposit money.

It also means that, if for some reason we can’t settle your dispute, you have another agency who can look at it for you.

Hopefully this makes it clearer the ways in which we try to make the process easy to understand and fair for you.

Side note: the myth of 10 days

A common comment we hear is that we’re ‘breaking the law’ if we don’t return a deposit 10 days after the end of a tenancy.

While the Government does set a 10-day deadline, this is for returning the money after the final sum has been agreed.

This means that once you have said yes, you are happy with the sum that’s due to come back, we need to return the agreed sum in no later than 10 days.

We have worked to our 28-day timescale for returning deposit statements for several years. The government has never told us that this is not a fair time-frame. In fact there are other agents and landlords who take longer than this.

We know that you want your money back. We want you to have your money back, too!

Got a question?

You can find answers to lots of the questions we get asked about deposit returns, including disputes, on our frequently asked questions page.

If you have any more questions about deposits, please speak to your local branch.

How do you feel about Purple Frog?