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  • Deposit Protection

    How changes to a tenancy affect the deposit

    Welcome to Day 4 of "Lifecycle of a Deposit" Week, powered by TDS, with content supplied by the TDS team.  Over the rest of this week, we are charting the lifecycle of a tenant's deposit - from pre-tenancy to end of tenancy.

    In the fourth instalment of our Tenancy Deposit Protection Week series, Alison MacDougall, Director of Dispute Operations at Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) explains what steps landlords and agents can take during a tenancy to help minimise disputes at the tenancy end.

    Circumstances can change during the lifespan of a tenancy which may result in a tenant requesting to change some aspect of the property.  There are some simple steps that landlords and agents can take to make sure the tenant is aware of their responsibilities at the end of the tenancy.

    There may be times when a tenant wishes to make modifications to the property, like redecorating, or altering the appearance/layout of the garden.

    Sometimes a tenant may wish to have a pet in the property. In these circumstances, tenants should seek formal, written consent from landlords and agents. 

    When responding to such requests, landlords and agents should make sure there is a clear written record of any agreement to make changes.  Without a written record, there is a danger that the parties’ recollections will differ and a dispute may arise about the deposit when the tenancy comes to an end.

    Of course, there is no requirement for a landlord or agent to agree to a tenant’s request to alter the property or the terms of the tenancy. 

    However, if the request is a reasonable one, the landlord may wish to accommodate it to preserve a good relationship with the tenant and ensure the tenancy runs smoothly.

    When considering whether to give permission, the landlord may wish to make their agreement conditional on the tenant undertaking specific action. 

    For example, with redecoration, the landlord may wish the tenant to have the work undertaken by a professional contractor, or to agree to return the property to its original colour scheme at the end of the tenancy.

    If the request is about keeping a pet, the landlord may want to restrict the pet’s access to certain areas of the property or require the tenant to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.

    When circumstances do change, it’s always best to ensure you have written agreement with the tenant to avoid deposit disputes.


    Content review:

    Monday - Launch of "Lifecycle of a Deposit" Week!

    Tuesday -  Pre-tenancy deposit responsibility - tips

    Wednesday - 3 steps to protect a deposit correctly

    Friday -  Managing the deposit at the end of the tenancy

    Saturday - How to think like an Adjudicator to solve disputes

    Thank you to TDS for supporting landlord education and Property Tribes.

    If you would like to take advantage of the off-line training offered by TDS, you can find a list of workshops >>> here.

    SEE ALSO  -       New "How To Rent" Guide published (June 2018 version)

    UP NEXT -           Tenancy Deposit Scheme: Custodial or insured?

    DON'T MISS -      Do I need to re-register deposit?