Student Accommodation: How to Get Your Full Tenancy Deposit Back

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2024 by Mohammmed BagheriNo comments

Securing student accommodation is a significant part of university life, but ensuring you get your full tenancy deposit back when you move out can be a bit tricky.

Deposits are typically a substantial amount of money, and recovering the full amount requires some effort and attention to detail. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to ensure you get your full tenancy deposit back. 

Understand Your Tenancy Agreement 

The first step in ensuring you get your deposit back is to thoroughly understand your tenancy agreement. This document outlines your responsibilities as a tenant and the conditions under which your deposit might be withheld. Key points to note include:

  • Cleaning: Understand the level of cleanliness expected when you move out. Some landlords expect professional cleaning. 
  • Repairs and Maintenance: Know what repairs you are responsible for. Generally, tenants are expected to handle minor maintenance tasks. 
  • Inventory Check: Familiarise yourself with the inventory list provided at the start of your tenancy. This document records the condition and contents of the property. 

Document Everything Upon Moving In 

When you first move into your accommodation, document the condition of the property thoroughly. Take clear, timestamped photos and videos of every room, including any existing damage or wear and tear. This documentation can serve as evidence if there are disputes over the condition of the property when you move out. 

Keep the Property in Good Condition 

Throughout your tenancy, take care of the property. Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent the build-up of dirt and minor damages that could lead to deductions from your deposit. Address issues as they arise, such as:

  • Cleaning Regularly: Maintain a cleaning schedule to keep the property in good condition.
  • Reporting Damages: Inform your landlord or letting agency about any damages or issues immediately. Delaying repairs can lead to more significant problems that might be costly. 

Follow the Inventory List 

Refer back to the inventory list periodically to ensure everything remains as documented. If items are missing or damaged, replace or repair them before moving out. It’s easier to address these issues incrementally rather than all at once at the end of your tenancy. 

Deep Clean Before Moving Out 

A thorough cleaning of the property is essential before you move out. Pay special attention to areas that are often overlooked, such as:

  • Kitchen: Clean appliances, cupboards, and surfaces thoroughly. Ensure the oven and refrigerator are spotless.
  • Bathroom: Scrub tiles, fixtures, and fittings to remove limescale and grime.
  • Carpets and Flooring: Vacuum and mop all floors. Consider professional carpet cleaning if necessary. 

Repair Any Damage 

Fix any minor damages before your final inspection. This includes filling in nail holes, repainting walls if necessary, and replacing any broken items. If you’re unsure how to make a repair, it might be worth hiring a professional to ensure the job is done correctly. 

Arrange a Pre-Inspection

Some landlords or letting agencies offer a pre-inspection service. This allows you to address any potential issues they identify before the final inspection. This step can be crucial in ensuring there are no surprises when it comes to getting your deposit back. 

Check the Terms for Professional Cleaning 

Check your tenancy agreement to see if it requires professional cleaning upon move-out. If so, hire a reputable cleaning service and keep the receipt as proof. This can be crucial if your landlord disputes the cleanliness of the property. 

Return All Keys 

Ensure that all keys provided to you at the start of the tenancy are returned. This includes keys for the property, mailbox, and any other secured areas. Failing to return keys can result in a deduction from your deposit for the cost of replacing locks. 

Attend the Final Inspection 

Be present during the final inspection to discuss any potential issues directly with your landlord or letting agent. Having your move-in documentation handy can be beneficial if there are any disputes about the property’s condition. 

Dispute Any Unfair Deductions 

If you feel that any deductions from your deposit are unfair, you have the right to dispute them. Most tenancy deposits in the UK are protected by a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. These schemes offer a free dispute resolution service. Be prepared to provide evidence, such as your initial photos and videos, and any receipts for repairs or professional cleaning services. 

Getting your full tenancy deposit back requires careful attention to detail and proactive maintenance throughout your tenancy. By understanding your tenancy agreement, documenting the property’s condition, maintaining cleanliness, making necessary repairs, and addressing potential issues promptly, you can significantly increase your chances of recovering your full deposit. Remember, a little effort throughout your tenancy can save you a lot of money and hassle at the end. 

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