Five Tips for Keeping the Deposit on your Student House


Five Tips for Keeping the Deposit on your Student House

Student landlords are a mixed bunch. You do get some angels who genuinely want to make your renting experience as pleasant as they can. There are also some cartoon villains out there, who seem to delight in letting black mould spread and being impossible to reach. One thing that they all have in common is that landlords are business people, trying to make a profit on their investment. One way they achieve this is by holding onto that juicy deposit you handed over at the beginning of the year. Avoiding losing some of your deposit is a Herculean task, and navigating the minefield of potential fees can be an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, we’ve compiled this guide to help you get as much of your money back as possible at the end of your lease.


Respect the contract

This seems like an obvious one, but I know for a fact a lot of students never even glance at the contract when signing for their second year home. As well as containing some vital information, the contract also outlines a specific set of rules to follow if you want to avoid fees. For example, some landlords might charge you to repaint the walls if you stick blu-tack up or hammer nails in.


Take care when throwing parties

Not having a big party is obviously the best way to avoid excess damage to your furnishings. However, as you probably will anyway a good idea is to lock away anything not bolted down to the floor. Also, consider throwing down some clingfilm on vulnerable carpets throughout the house. If you are really worried and the weather is mild enough, a garden party is the ideal solution.


Pay careful attention to the inventory

This list outlines all the furniture and features of the house, as well as the condition of everything and any existing damage. It’s best to go over this carefully to spot if there is anything (like a big dark stain on your mattress) which is not listed on there. If you make careful notes, report damage to your landlord, and take photos you’re less likely to have disputes or end up paying for something that wasn’t your fault when it’s time to move out.


Clean like a maniac

Landlords can charge you cleaning fees if you leave your house a tip which can far outweigh the effort of a few hours thorough scrubbing. Easy to miss areas are: behind the fridge, under the sofas and inside the oven. It’s also important not to leave any items you don’t want in the house (or sofas in the garden) as you can be charged a hefty removal fee. It sounds really trivial, but make sure you empty the bin on your way out too.


Look out for the little things

I know people who have been charged for lightbulbs they have used throughout the year, and people who have been billed for fuses blown during their tenancy. Little things like this add up, so think carefully and check the small print of the contract before handing in your keys.