A bond or deposit is a sum of money which is held against damage to the property, rent/utility arrears, any essential cleaning, removal of large amounts of rubbish and the cost of replacing any locks or keys if not returned on time. Deductions cannot be made for reasonable wear and tear to the property. It is important that when you are arranging your house contract that you pay your bond by cheque or credit card and get a receipt showing the amount and what it covers.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
When you pay your bond, your landlord or agent must protect it using a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Make sure you ask your landlord/agent, 'how is my deposit protected'? Within 14 days of paying, the landlord or agent is required to give you various details about how your deposit is protected. This should include the name of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme with whom the bond is protected, and an ID number.
The deposit protection schemes will usually only deal with the lead name on the tenancy agreement. This person must accept the responsibility as representative of the other joint tenants at a property.
For further information, call into USWSU and arrange to speak to an adviser, or go to www.direct.gov.uk/tenancydeposit
At the end of the tenancy, check whether you are leaving the property and its contents in the condition that it was let to you - allowing for fair wear and tear - and check that you have paid your rent and any other expenses. Then, agree with the landlord or agent how much of the deposit should be returned to you. Within 10 days you should have received the agreed amount of the deposit. If you do not reach an agreement you must contact the Tenancy Protection Scheme immediately; they will then arbitrate on your behalf. These schemes do have time limits to raise a dispute, so check the deadline and don't delay.