Student Deposit Protection: What You Need To Know

Student Deposit Protection Student Deposit Protection: What You Need To Know

Signing your student accommodation contract is an exciting time.

You’re moving out, finally gaining some independence, and looking forward to some of the best years of your life.

As well as signing your contract, you’ll likely need to pay a deposit to the landlord, which can be upwards of one month’s rent.

Understanding your rights when it comes to this deposit, and the process of getting it back are important to know.

What is student deposit protection?

In the UK, landlords are required by law to put student deposits into government-approved student deposit protection schemes within 30 days of receiving the money.

If there’s any property damage, unpaid rent or missing items at the end of your tenancy agreement, your landlord can keep some, or all, of your deposit to cover any costs.

This could be as little as £10 to replace a missing kitchen bin, or over £200 to repair damaged walls.

Some reasonable wear and tear will be expected during a tenancy, so your landlord cannot withhold any of your deposit for this.

Naturally worn carpets, or slightly scuffed wooden floors, for example, are usually considered reasonable wear and tear.

Deposit protection schemes include a free dispute resolution service.

So, if you think your landlord is being unfair, you can dispute their claims.

When will you get your deposit back?

If there are no issues at the end of your tenancy, you should get your full deposit back within 10 days of your tenancy ending.

If your landlord needs to make deductions to cover any cleaning, repairs or missing items, they need to share this reason with you. If you agree with these deductions, you will receive the remainder of your deposit within this timeframe.

If you dispute any of your landlord’s claims, you’ll only receive your deposit back once these disputes have been settled.

What can be deducted from your deposit?

You should aim to leave the property exactly how you found it.

Your landlord can deduct from your deposit for several reasons, including:

  • Cleaning costs – this is usually the most common reason for a deposit deduction.
  • Gardening costs – if you’re lucky enough to have a garden space as a student, it’s your responsibility to look after this to the same standards it was left when you moved in.
  • Replacing missing or broken items – kitchenware and décor, for example.
  • Repairing any damage – this also includes reverting any changes made without your landlord’s permission – painting your bedroom wall, for example.

How can you protect your deposit before moving in?

Before you move in, make sure to thoroughly read through your contract so you’re aware of exactly what you’re responsible for in the property. For your added peace of mind, many Students’ Unions offer contract proofing services.

You’ll likely be provided with an inventory of any furnishings that come with the property. Make sure to double check everything included is correct. If there are any inconsistencies, make the landlord aware as soon as possible.

Likewise, if you see any damage to the property, or anything that poses a risk, get in touch with your landlord sooner rather than later.

You should also take pictures of the property before you move in. This will act as proof of any already existing issues and will show the state of the property before you moved in. If the property is dirty, or in an unliveable state, you should speak to the landlord or agent straightaway.

What should you do to protect your deposit whilst living in your accommodation?

As mentioned earlier, cleaning costs are the number one reason for deposit deductions.

Make sure to keep the property as clean and tidy as possible. If you stay on top of the cleaning, it really won’t take long at all. You could even make a cleaning rota so everyone is involved.

If you cause any accidental breakages, your landlord can deduct the cost of repairs from your deposit. So, if you break anything small – a curtain shower or bathroom bin, for example – consider replacing this yourself. It will likely cost you less than a tenner.

If the breakages are slightly more expensive – a smashed window (we know house parties can get a little crazy!) perhaps – inform your landlord as soon as possible. They will appreciate being told and may even make a compromise when it comes to the cost.

Is there anything you should do when you move out?

When it comes to moving out, it can be so tempting to pack your stuff up and leave with no second thoughts.

But taking the time, even just a few hours, to sort the property out could be the difference between getting your full deposit back and having an amount deducted.

Communicate with your flatmates, find out when they’re each planning to move out.

You can then arrange a day to give your property a thorough clean down. You could even create a checklist and allocate certain tasks to each flatmate to make sure everyone mucks in.

You’ll find you’ve likely collected a variety of unwanted possessions throughout your tenancy – old clothes you no longer wear, items left over from house parties and even old uni work.

Don’t leave these in the property – throw them away or take them home with you. Your landlord will likely charge a fee for anything they need to dispose of.

Finally, like a full circle, take photos of the property right before you leave. These are evidence of the state you left it in and could potentially be used if your landlord makes any incorrect or false claims. 

Is your student accommodation in Liverpool sorted for next year?

Here at Caro Lettings, we provide a range of student accommodation options across Liverpool ranging from a 4 bed house to 14 bed flats.

So, if you’re looking for your student accommodation for the 2023/2024 academic year, book your viewing now!  

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