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Household Hotspots in focus: the kitchen

Avid readers of our Key Matters magazine will know that in each issue we have a feature dedicated to specific rooms found in most households, and our Resolution Team Leader Samantha Gardner takes a tour of the room and comments on the different types of disputes that could potentially arise. Tenancy deposits in Scotland can potentially be claimed against for a variety of different reasons unique to each room and here, in the spirit of preventing disputes between parties, we examine some of the hotspot areas typically found in kitchens.

Kitchen cupboards are regularly opened and closed and so some slight wear and tear is to be expected. However if a cupboard has come off the hinges then that could indicate that it has not been used with a reasonable level of care, and this would be classified as damage to property. Be wary too of scratches and chips on the cupboard doors, as well as the countertops. Whilst it is unlikely under most circumstances that a full replacement will be paid out, compensation relative to the level of damage could possibly be awarded. The state of the cupboards and countertops before the tenancy start date should be indicated on the check-in report.

We get it - cleaning the oven is not the most popular job in any household. Often it's something that gets put off since it is out of sight and therefore out of mind, but for ovens that are used often, grime can accumulate over time. To avoid charges for cleaning, proper oven maintenance is vital. It is recommended that the oven is cleaned once every three to six months. Other areas that can often be overlooked when it comes to cleaning are the dishwasher and the fridge. Keep the filter in the dishwasher clean and use rinse aid and salt. As for the fridge, ensure when leaving the property that there are no smells or food residue. Leftover food should not be left in the fridge, nor the cupboards, even if intended as a welcome gift to the next occupant. Leftover food could also result in claims for cleaning.

Lastly, many landlords will provide kitchenware for tenants such as glasses, plates and cutlery, and even pots and pans. If these items were provided when the tenant moved in, they should still be there when it is time for the tenant to move out. Broken items during the tenancy should be reported to the landlord or letting agent, and they may replace them then and there at a cost. When it comes to tenancy deposits in Scotland, the inventory is your friend - this will detail any included items as well as their condition at the start of the tenancy.

SafeDeposits Scotland is a government approved scheme that protects tenancy deposits in Scotland, and is the only scheme based in Scotland. We hold the deposit during the tenancy and return to the tenant at the end of the tenancy when the landlord or letting agent has agreed to repayment. We also provide an impartial adjudication service for tenants and landlords if they can't come to an agreement. Find out more about SafeDeposits Scotland and what we do.

Tenancy deposits in Scotland | kitchen disputes
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