Tips & Tricks To Getting Your Full Tenancy Deposit Back
Are you due to move out of your student accommodation or student house soon? If so, we know there’s one thing that’s probably pressing on your mind, and that’s getting your tenancy deposit back.
As a student, you’re entitled to get your full tenancy deposit back at the end of your tenancy unless your landlord has a reason to make deductions, such as if you didn’t pay rent or damaged the property.
With studies suggesting that 10% of university students have trouble getting their student house deposit back, we’ve put together this list of tips and tricks to help you out!
What Is A Tenancy Deposit?
At the start of every tenancy, you’ll be required to pay a deposit which protects housing providers and landlords in case of a student not paying rent or damaging the property.
Your tenancy deposit shouldn’t be used to cover the cost of fair wear and tear, but rather for breakages or damage caused by misuse of the property or its fixtures or fittings.
You will be able to find out what the deposit covers within your tenancy agreement or a document that’s signed by all parties, if you’re living in a shared student home.
When renting student accommodation, your landlord or housing provider must put your deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) within 30 days of the tenancy start date.
This scheme ensures you get your deposit returned to you as long as you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, do not damage the property and pay your rent and bills.
Tips & Tricks To Get Your Tenancy Deposit Back
So, you’re moving out of your student accommodation and want to leave with your full deposit?
To increase your chances, take a read of our tips and tricks!
1. Review Your Tenancy Agreement
We cannot stress this enough, make sure to carefully go through your tenancy agreement so that you understand your obligations as a tenant, and know the terms and conditions related to your deposit.
Your tenancy agreement will highlight things like what utility services you have to cancel, the check out process, what you’re responsible for and so on.
It may be slightly boring to read but it’s important to take note of any specific requirements or obligations mentioned in the agreement.
Your housing provider may have also sent you a move-out checklist outlining their expectations for the property, which you can use as a guide to ensure you have completed all necessary tasks!
2. Clean and Repair
Before moving out of your student home, you should thoroughly clean the property, including all rooms, appliances, and fixtures, to ensure it is in the same condition as when you moved in.
Paying attention to your own space is important, but also the communal areas like the kitchen and living space, as it’s a shared responsibility between you and the other tenants to leave the place in good order.
Considering you lived there for around 9 months, make sure not to leave the cleaning and tidying too last minute.
Chances are, it’s going to take quite some time to get the place looking spick and span.
It’s not just about removing any rubbish, but also removing personal belongings, even those you don’t want to take with you!
If you have caused any damages beyond normal wear and tear such as nail holes, broken fixtures and so on, you should consider repairing or replacing them before moving out.
3. Take Photographs and Videos
When you moved into your student home, you likely would have taken photos and videos of the property’s condition and captured any damages which were already there.
If you did, we’d suggest making sure to keep hold of this as it can help prove you’re not responsible for any pre-existing problems.
On move out day, you should also take dated photos and videos of your student room, bathroom, kitchen and any other spaces to show you’ve left it in good order.
If you live in a student house, be sure to take a photo of the final meter readings for utilities and submit them.
You could end up using it as evidence at a later date if you need to dispute your deposit so it’s useful to keep them in your camera roll!
4. Return Keys and Access Cards
This next tip may sound obvious but a lot of people forget to return all of their keys, access cards, or any other items provided by the accommodation upon moving out.
Failure to return them can result in additional charges and a deduction of your deposit, so make sure to find out how to return yours.
Whether it’s dropping them off to your accommodation reception, handing them to your landlord, or going to your estate agents, don’t forget to return them.
If you’re able to, try to get a receipt or acknowledgement of their return just in case.
5. Pay Your Rent & Bills On Time
To get your full deposit back, you need to ensure you’ve paid your rent and bills for the last month before the tenancy end date.
If you pay your bills separately to your rent, don’t forget to get in touch with your utility provider and broadband company to let them know when your tenancy is finishing.
You must give your utility company at least 48 hours’ notice, although you can notify them well in advance of that date.
Falling into financial issues? Get in touch with your housing provider or landlord and let them know as soon as possible.
6. Follow The Deposit Return Process
As we said earlier, you should be aware of the deposit refund process outlined in your tenancy agreement.
You will need to provide the necessary information or paperwork required to facilitate the return of your deposit.
If your landlord or housing provider holds your deposit in a protected insured scheme, they need to pay your deposit back within 10 working days of your request for the deposit to be returned.
Understand there is a specific timeline your landlord must return your deposit and try to be patient.
If the deadline passes without having received your deposit back, politely follow up to inquire about the delay.
7. Negotiate If Needed
If you disagree with any deductions to your tenancy deposit or believe they are unfair, don’t hesitate to negotiate with your accommodation provider or landlord.
You can present your evidence such as the initial condition photos and videos, as well as the images you captured when you moved out.
We’d also suggest keeping a copy of documents and communications between you and the landlord or letting agent.
As your tenancy deposit is registered in a government-approved scheme, you’ll be able to use their free dispute resolution service.
The resolution service will look at evidence from both sides and decide how much of the deposit you should get back.
Negotiating getting your deposit back can be stressful, but it’s essential to communicate effectively and maintain a professional approach.
That’s the end of our guide on how to ensure a hassle-free return of your tenancy deposit, we hope it’s been helpful for you.
We wish you all the best if you’re due to move out of your student home!
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