How much deposit would I expect to pay?

The landlord will usually ask for a rent deposit. This is a lump sum held by the landlord as security against your not paying future rent, or damage caused during your stay to make the space right again for future rental.

It is usually one or two month’s rent, and payable at the same time as the first month’s rent.

Few landlords adopt the sophisticated route of issuing artists with a formal ‘rent deposit deeds’, and instead record the deposit paid in the lease / tenancy agreement or licence.  In either case, you should insist upon this payment being properly recorded and get a receipt.  Often and quite correctly, provision is made for you to be paid interest on the rent deposit for the period of time the landlord has been holding it.  You may however, content yourself with getting your money back, rather than pursuing the landlord for what is usually a negligible amount of interest.

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This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.