Dear Dawn,

I recently moved out of my rental apartment and for the last few weeks I have been battling with my agent to get my deposit back. The problem is they say that the cleaning was not adequate when I vacated, but I disagree. I really think it was fine when I left. So we are locking heads and this is going nowhere fast. Is there anything I can do to get this resolved fairly?

Frustrated Tenant

Dear Frustrated Tenant,

Firstly I would question whether an independent inventory was taken when you moved in as this is usually the basis for a fair appraisal on checkout.

The inventory clerk should neither favour the tenant nor the landlord when looking at the condition of a home, making objective assessments any wear and tear based on an initial report.

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Regulated agents should always endeavour to reach a satisfactory conclusion where both the tenant and the landlord agree in cases like these. However, as you’re at loggerheads there is another option.

Assuming you rented through a regulated agent and that your deposit was protected within one of the Government’s three approved schemes then you can pursue this directly with their administrators.

All three of the schemes have independent adjudicators that offer a dispute resolution service, which aims to resolve any disputes quickly and effectively without the need for court action.

If you do decide to go down this route then simply get in touch with your deposit protector to get the ball rolling, they will give you instructions on the next steps.

Dawn Sandoval is the owner of Dawn Sandoval Residential in Canary Wharf .