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8 Hacks to Get Your Tenancy Deposits Refunded

8 Hacks to Get Your Tenancy Deposits Refunded

Proper End of Tenancy Cleaning Guarantees Your Deposit Refunds

Many good property owners expect their property to be returned in the best hygienic state it was given out. Also, they understand that their property has been used for many years and is due for its tears and wears. However, there could be others who no matter how long their property has existed, they expect it remains ever brand new as it was when newly built and never agreeing to wears and tears. These property owners are ready to push little issues about wears and tears on their property to any length “legality and beyond” just to get you over billed. As if they expects you never to touch anything while using the property.

Is there a possibility to know which one of these landlords understands the use of their property and its depreciation value with age? Well, I don’t think it’s worth the stress finding out which landlord is understanding or which is not. So, if you desire to have your tenancy deposit refunded, there is need to return the property in the best way possible as it was let out and just in case, get some evidence.

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1. Keep check in records.

Just with time, it’s likely you will forget the status of the property when you moved in. It is very important that the wears and tears on the property like wall stains (scuff marks) before moving in are documented and signed by you and the property owner as fast as possible. With this, you won’t be charged for any existing property wears and tears when your tenancy period ends. also, keeping check-in records will help save many issues about electricity, waste disposal, if any surfaces need special cleaning and more.

2. Taking photographs.

It will be amazing that your camera is a strong a weapon when issues arises. While moving in or out, make sure to photograph the each you as you meet it or left it. In case any issue comes up, the photograph indeed can never be wrong unless it’s showing entirely another property. It’s also advisable to take dated photographs or labeled photographs immediately as you arrive at this property and never forget to send them along with the check in records. Keep your own copies, too.

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3. Invite the property owner and walk him around.

While moving in, it’s sure your landlord will walk you around the property for inspection and records before signing the agreement documents. Still, it’s very important to ask the landlord around and walk him through the property both interior and exterior to attest the status of the property before finally moving out and if possible, he may come around with a potential tenant wishing to take the property over from you if there is already one. The landlord can use this as an opportunity to point out anything he is not OK with regarding the property status and you settle it the best way to avoid issues with your deposit refund. Use the check-in record as a guide. Interestingly, the potential tenant could act as a witness to this inspection.

4. End of tenancy cleaning.

At the most, this is where major issues arise and everything we have said this far all has a link to this. Interesting to know that over 55% of deposit issues comes from non-satisfactory cleaning by the tenant. Landlords often use this as opportunity to withhold your deposit and you have to be very careful how this is done. To be sure of your deposit refund, it’s advisable to contact an end of tenancy cleaning company for their service if you don’t have enough time left to do it or it appears too stressful for you.

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However you chose to do this, either cleaning yourself or requiring the service of professional end of tenancy cleaning company is your choice and not the landlords’. The landlord can’t force you to use a particular cleaning company for the cleaning. It is good to let him know however you wish to do your cleaning, but know this well that it’s solely your decision. If you chose to do it yourself, this simple steps should guide your alongside your check-in records.

5. Remember the hidden areas.

This is especially important if you chose to do your cleaning yourself. It is very easy to become used to your environment and never noticing areas where dirt could accumulate but the landlord will be sure to notice these areas on inspection. To ensure you do this to its best, it’s helpful to assume it’s your first time in the environments and you’re making sure it’s safe for your habitation, so you have to make sure you look around properly.

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Asking friends for help might be of great help while they act as the landlord passing judgment on your work if it’s satisfactory or not. Ask them to be fair and serious enough because it will be of great help. Inspect where normally you hardly look like on top the refrigerator, the top corners of the room, etc. Check and unblock all plugholes.

7. Be paranoid.

Just because your landlord seems nice to you or often compliment you on how great you keep this property, doesn’t mean they will keep that nice manly attitude at the end of the year of your tenancy period. If perhaps you are renting for the first time, ask those who have had such experience and they will have much to tell you about this.

8. Don’t forget the tenancy dispute service.

No matter how smart or careful you may be, chances may have it that issues arise. There could always be broken promises and a huge sum of completely illegal charges on the deposits at the end of the rental period or end of tenancy is demanded. No matter how right you are, there might be a need to settle issues with tenancy dispute service and both will be asked to submit all evidences at the moment. Remember, keeping records becomes very useful here and you certainly will be able to claim all your deposits back if evidences are in your favor.

Featured photo credit: javavida.com via cheapestironing.co.uk

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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