In Malta, a rental deposit is typically the equivalent to one month’s rent (sometimes more), which is not an amount of money most people can forget about, especially if it’s required as a deposit for their next rental property. Still, many tenants attempt to move on without attempting to leave the property in the state they received it. A lot of landlords pay extra attention to detail, with some of them looking for any excuse to keep some or all of the deposit.
The following 5 tips will help you maximize your chances of getting back the full deposit
1. Know Your Contract
Make sure you have a good understanding of your rental contract, this is something you should have done before you signed, but now’s a good time to refresh your memory. This is not in the hopes of avoiding to clean the place, but to see if there are any specific requirements outlined in it. Most landlords will allow you to paint a room as long as it is returned how you found it or hang up paintings as long as you remove the hooks afterwards etc… Doing this work yourself will almost always be cheaper than leaving the landlord to do it.
2. Give it a Deep Clean
Regardless of what it says in your contract, you should really give the whole place a deep anyway. Even if you have the highest of standards when it comes to cleaning, there are still most likely going to be some parts overlooked, especially once the furniture has been removed. For best results, try and get a friend or family member to come and give you a hand.
3. Repair Anything That’s Broken
Any reasonable landlord expects there to be some kind of wear and tear in their rental property, especially after 12+ months. Whilst this can sometimes be a grey area, and while no landlord should expect you to replace permanent fixtures that are simply worn with age, you should always replace items that you broke. Be sure to check the inventory specified in the contract, and replace anything that is missing or broken as necessary.
4. Invite Your Landlord Around
It’s a good idea to invite your landlord over for an inspection a few weeks before you are due to leave. This will give them the opportunity to point out any issues they are not happy with. Provided you give yourself plenty of time, you ‘ll then be able to put things right. To save yourself time and make a good impression in the first place, it’s also wise to give the place a pretty good clean before inviting your landlord over to inspect.
5. Take Photos and Other Proof
If the worse happens and your landlord refuses to give you back the deposit, you’ll need to be able to provide some evidence in your favour to have any hope of winning your case. If you’re confident enough that you have cleaned the place well and fulfilled your side of the contract, be sure to take photos so you can present them to a lawyer should you need to.
Most landlords here in Malta are not in the business of keeping deposits if you’ve been a good tenant, paid your rent on time and you leave the place in good condition. However, some landlords may take it as an opportunity to see where they can deprive you of some or all of your deposit. If this happens and you struggle to come to an agreement with the landlord, you may need to bring in the services of lawyer.