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Your property rental deposit – what it’s for and useful information

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A rental deposit is an added security for property owners that ensures that they will have some form of compensation if the tenant fails to pay the agreed rental or causes damage to the property. It’s a very normal arrangement, both for rental properties in Mauritius and throughout the rest of the world.

A rental deposit, guarantee deposit or security all refer to the same thing – an amount equal to one to three months rental that’s held against a time when the property owner may be entitled to use it.

When you won’t get your full deposit back

When you move out, the home will be inspected. Any damage that was not there when you moved in is naturally assumed to be ‘your’ damage, and the amount needed to repair it will be deducted from the deposit. If your landlord or agent needs to have repairs done, they have to send you the invoice so that you can see that you’re being treated fairly.

If you owe your landlord any money when you move out; for example, you might owe him some rental or amounts for services like electricity, this will also be deducted from the deposit you paid.

Don’t be tempted…

Some tenants think that failing to pay rent for the last months they lived in a house ensures that they get their deposit back. However, it’s smart to remember that you can be evicted from a rented home in Mauritius if you are in breach of contract, and if you don’t pay your rent, it’s a clear-cut case.

Expect some repairs

Unless you lived on a property for a very short period of time, there are bound to be some odds and ends to repair. If you moved into a newly-painted house a few years ago, it will very likely need to be repainted again when you move out. And since your landlord wasn’t the one who was living in the house, it isn’t fair to expect him or her to cover that expense. (at least internally)

If you think you can get repairs done more cheaply than the homeowner or agent could, talk it out with them before you begin, and do take care how you work. If you make too many drastic changes or get a sloppy end result, you may still have to pay for repairs.

Rental agents give you greater security

Rental agents know how to defend the rights of both property owners and tenants. It’s like having an unbiased go-between. They want to make sure that both parties are satisfied and are treated fairly. After all, both of you are the property agent’s clients.  Working through an agent is one of the best routes to a fair and dispute-free rental relationship, and while they do charge an agency fee, the peace of mind that you get makes it well worthwhile!

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