Your tenancy might run for six months or six years, but at the end of it, you're going to want to get as much back as possible. Looking after your deposit starts as soon you move into the property and, to help you get off on the right foot, we've got lots of advice to help you.

Check your tenancy agreement

Your tenancy agreement will form the basis of your landlord or letting agent’s expectations about your obligations whilst renting the property. Reviewing these will give you an indication of what you need to do to keep them happy. If you can’t find your tenancy agreement or inventory, ask your landlord or letting agent for a copy.

Make sure you attend the check-in and review your inventory

The check-in is when you and your landlord or letting agent agree the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. It usually happens after you've been given the keys, and may be a formal check-in with your landlord or letting agent, or your own review of the inventory before you fully move in. In both cases, it's your opportunity to note anything that differs from the inventory you're provided.

The best inventories will included dated photographs, with amendments written clearly and concisely, and be signed by both parties. This will help when discussing potential deductions from your deposit at the end of tenancy. If you're not sure about something, or think that repairs may be needed, let your landlord or letting agent know as soon as possible and follow it up by email or in writing, keeping a copy for yourself. This could be the evidence you need at the end of your tenancy in the event of any disagreement you have regarding the repayment of your deposit.

Communication at this early stage can set the tone for your relationship with your landlord or letting agent.

Follow our top tips!

We've created a number of tips and guides to help tenants, landlords and letting agents get their tenancies right.