How you approach the whole question of returning the deposit really depends on your tenant and what has gone before.
Some tenants will be quite easy going about the whole thing. Other tenants will be determined to be uncooperative and will want to squeeze the last groat from you.
So please note that these notes are just a guide to what you could do. You may need to change the approach depending on the situation with your particular tenant.
Returning the money
It is important that you are able to prove, if challenged, that the money has actually been returned.
- With some tenants you will be able to do this by depositing the money into their bank account – make sure you keep the paying in slip, stamped by the bank, so you will be able to prove this later (if you pay by internet banking you will have to prove payment by showing your bank statement – which you may prefer to keep private).
- If you don’t have the tenant’s bank details, then you could pay by cheque – but you need to monitor things carefully and make sure that they actually pay the cheque in. If at all possible see if you can get them to sign a receipt, but not all tenants will agree to do this.
- Some landlords have paid the tenants in cash with a witness present to confirm that this has been done (see this post on my blog where this happened). If you do this, I suggest you get a statement from the witness just confirming that the money was returned. You can use my pdf >> Diary Sheet for this.
So be having a think about how you can best return the money to your tenant – in a way that you will be able to prove later.
However, before you return the money, lets take a look at what you can do to deal with future claims.