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I moved into a property in August last year. We paid 6 weeks deposit, which appears to have been registered with TDS although we have never received the prescribed information. In addition, the letting agency charged us (at the beginning of the tenancy) a £250 end of tenancy cleaning fee, returnable on end of tenancy. I didn't question this at the time although in hindsight I probably should. The agency is not managing the property, we signed the contract with the landlord directly. The agency didn't provide the inventory or check-in service. This was arranged by the landlord, and when we do leave, any check-out will also be directly with the landlord (although the inventory report was not worth the paper it was printed on as it didn't reflect the condition of the property at all. I raised this in writing with the landlord at the time, explaining all the issues, including the cleanliness of the house and have never signed a copy of the report, but that's another issue). Now that we've reached the end of our 12 month fixed term, we are going to remain in the property on a periodic tenancy. In my opinion, the involvement of the letting agents has now ceased as our contract was with the landlord directly. With this in mind, I have requested the £250 to be returned. The letting agent's response is that they will refund this when I vacate the property if the property has been left in the same level of cleanliness. Given this could be several years, I am not happy with this. In any case, I would expect that if extra cleaning is required after I vacate, this should be covered by the tenancy deposit so the extra cleaning fee is superfluous, but this got me wondering if the end-of-tenancy cleaning fee (taken at the start of the tenancy and to be refunded when I vacate, subject to the property being left in the same state of cleanliness) is in fact a further deposit, which should have been registered as such within 14 days. I have checked the registration with TDS and that only includes the 6 weeks deposit, not the further £250 cleaning fee. Can anyone more knowledgeable on the rules offer an opinion? Or can anyone point me towards any guidelines covering this? I have spent a considerable amount of time googling, but haven't found a similar situation so far. Thanks in advance!
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