21 August 2009
As the new term begins, mydeposits.co.uk, a Government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme is offering advice to students who might be renting a property for the first time.
For most students, going to university will be their first experience of living away from home. But this shouldn’t be a daunting prospect. Mydeposits.co.uk has some simple tips for students to help life run as smoothly as possible.
Before you move in most landlords will require a deposit, typically a month’s rent in advance. This, coupled with the first monthly rent payment can really add up, so make sure you have budgeted properly.
By law your deposit money has to be protected in one of three authorised schemes. Make sure you ask your landlord which scheme protects your money and ask to see proof*.
You have a right to enjoy your home without interference, but your landlord also has a right to inspect the property during your tenancy. They will need to give you 24 hours notice for any visits. Towards the end of your tenancy you must allow your landlord access to show prospective tenants around the property.
It is worth looking after the property and sticking to the terms of the contract. This can range from not putting nails into the walls, to maintaining your garden. House parties are a part of being a student, but stained carpets and cigarette burns will be deducted from your deposit. 58 per cent of disputes at the end of tenancies arise when landlords withhold money for cleaning or damage**, so if you want to get your deposit back keep your house clean and try not to break anything. If you do, tell the landlord straight away.
Although students may be strapped for cash, they often have expensive possessions like laptops and iPods, making student houses rich pickings for burglars. Don’t forget contents insurance, this is your responsibility, not your landlord’s. When you go out make sure all external doors and windows are securely closed and locked. If the house is going to be left empty over the holidays leave a light and a radio on timer to make it look as if someone is in.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive, mydeposits.co.uk, said
“Your first home is always exciting, but in that whirlwind of Freshers’ Week and adjusting to university life, students should also think about the practicalities of living away from home. These range from budgeting, cooking for yourself, and helping to maintain your shared house.
“Keeping things clean and tidy and encouraging your housemates to do the same might seem like a waste of time but it’s worth doing. Not only does it make your home a nicer place to live and study in, but looking after the property means you are much more likely to get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy.”
T: 020 7840 8925
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Mydeposits is the trading name of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited, a company jointly owned by the National Landlords Association and HFIS plc T/A Hamilton Fraser Insurance (the Scheme Administrator) to deliver an insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme under contract from Communities & Local Government. Landlords and letting agents wishing to use this scheme are required to register with the Scheme Administrator. They can find out more and register by visiting www.mydeposits.co.uk. Registered members of the Scheme are able to protect and unprotect deposits at the beginning and end of tenancies. Fees are tax-deductible. In the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy agreement, both parties are offered access to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This procedure will be evidence-based, relying on documentation and records.