Every time that you begin a new lease or sign a rental agreement, you are required to pay a security deposit. That’s the unfortunate truth and unless there’s a massive, much needed shake up of the housing market, this necessity is here to stay.

As you know, the deposit will be returned to you when your lease is terminated, providing you adhere to specific conditions. If you’ve ever rented, you might also know that when the time comes to move out, the goalposts are often shifted, the conditions apparently changed, and suddenly, you’re facing a dispute about whether getting your deposit back at all. 

If you want to ensure you leave your rental agreement with a nice chunk of cash, there are a few steps you should follow to cover all bases and satisfy even the most pedantic, pound hungry landlord. These are those; here’s how to ensure you get your security deposit back when you move out.


When you terminate your lease, you must legally leave your home spotless. That doesn’t mean sweeping the floors, wiping down the counters and furiously scrubbing off last week’s bolognese stains from the wall. 

Instead, every inch of the home must be adequately cleaned to industry standards. Don’t leave definitions of ‘clean’ up to chance. Your best bet is to hire those who specialise in move out cleaning London, Glasgow, Cardiff or otherwise, since they know exactly what landlords will be looking for on inspection and specialise in these types of deep cleans.

Covered within such a service are carpet cleaning, upholstery cleanings and stain removal, window cleaning, oven cleaning and more. One dirty cabinet could mean losing your whole security deposit, so don’t risk it. Instead, defer to the professionals here.


You’ll need to notify your landlord that you intend to move out. Do not send a text or tell them via telephone. It’s essential to send a ‘tenants notice to end tenancy’ letter which includes your new address, and make sure to send it well in advance. They need to receive the message outside of your notice period, or you might risk your lease renewing automatically. Also, make sure you make a copy of the letter before you send it in case the landlord claims they didn’t receive it. Send it via certified mail, so that you get notified when it is accepted and signed for.


Each lease is slightly different, though they all have a clause regarding termination. Make sure you read all the stipulations in the lease thoroughly and follow them to a tee. Any deviation from the agreement could mean you won’t receive your security deposit back. 

Check how much notice is required for you to terminate the list and make sure you give it. Most leases will also require you to return any changes you’ve made within the property back to their original condition.


Many people will assume that their security deposit will count for their last month’s rent. 99% of the time this is not the case. Unless it specifically says so in your contract, you are required to pay your last month’s rent. If your landlord does an inspection when you move out and there are damages, or if it’s not clean, they can sue you saying that you’ve not paid rent. Always pay your last month’s rent and request a receipt. That way, you’re covered in case of any issues.

If you follow these steps, you will have the best chance of getting back your full security deposit without any issues. Should you be taking on the cleaning yourself, then check out these 10 professional home cleaning hacks for some insider tips.