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What Are Rent Deposits Used For?


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Will Southall

Will Southall

2 years ago - 2 minute read

Having to pay a deposit is never fun, especially when you’re renting. Since most people rent long-term nowadays, paying your landlord a deposit can mean waving goodbye to that money for years.

If you’re looking to rent a property for the first time, you may be wondering why your landlord is charging you a hefty deposit up-front. If so, we’ve got the answers! Here’s a handy summary of what tenancy deposits are for, how much they can be and when you can expect to get them back.

What is a Renting Deposit?

In short, a rent deposit is money you give to your landlord. You should get it back a few weeks after your tenancy has ended and you’ve moved out, provided no deductions are made for damages or unpaid rent. Unless you’re using a Lifetime Deposit Scheme, the money needs to be paid upfront in one lump sum before you move in.

To keep your money safe, deposits are usually paid into a tenancy deposit protection scheme and not directly to your landlord. Sometimes, rent deposits are also referred to as tenancy deposits or security deposits.

What Are Rent Deposits Used For?

Rent deposits are designed to protect landlords from things like unpaid rent and/or damage a tenant causes. It can also be used to pay for things like broken or stolen furnishings or cleaning services if you leave the property in an untidy state.

Typically, tenants get their rent deposits back in full after they move. Provided you look after the property and don’t miss any payments, the deposit is more like a security blanket for your landlord in case anything goes wrong.

How Much Deposit Can a Landlord Ask For?

Historically, landlords could set high tenancy deposits to cover themselves against numerous extra charges. Thankfully, since 2019, the UK has had strict limits about how much deposit a landlord can ask for.

Your landlord can only ask for a maximum of:

  • 5 weeks of rent payments upfront if the annual rent cost is under £50,000
  • 6 weeks of rent payments upfront if the annual rent cost is £50,000+

In the UK, the average deposit most renters have to fund is around £1,300, which can vary significantly depending on the area.

When Do I Get My Landlord Deposit Back?

Unfortunately, rent deposits aren’t like the deposits you pay at a restaurant that you get back when you visit (or, in this case, when you move in). Instead, your landlord holds onto the money until the end of your tenancy.

Once you’ve moved out, your landlord will normally take time to inspect the property and check whether any deductions are due. If they need to deduct money from your deposit, it’s usually for things like:

  • Damage to the property
  • Missing items
  • Rent arrears
  • Cleaning services

Since you don’t get your deposit back until after you move out, you’ll need to save up and pay your new landlord their tenancy deposit from scratch, unless you use a Lifetime Deposit Scheme.

How Fronted Can Help

Are you struggling to fund your new tenancy deposit when moving rental? If your money is tied up in an old deposit, Fronted’s Lifetime Deposit Scheme can help make it easier and more affordable for you to move around. Check out our Lifetime Deposit to learn more about how we can help make moving rental more affordable or join our waitlist to be one of the first to use our services when they launch.

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Will Southall

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Will Southall

If you're a renter, we've got your back. This corner of the Fronted site is loaded with everything from moving tips, Lifetime Deposits, and anything you need to make renting, or moving, a breeze.

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