10 ways to make sure you get your deposit back when leaving your student house

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10 ways to make sure you get your deposit back when leaving your student house

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September 30, 2016 3:57 pm Published by
Man and Women cleaning their house

So you’re moving on and moving out – time to make sure you get your deposit back and part on the best possible terms with your housemates and your landlord.

First up, check your contract. Most specify that the house is returned in the same condition in which it was let, usually with an allowance for ‘fair wear and tear’. Some may have a more detailed checklist of things you are expected to do before you leave – so make sure you do them! Remember they are not out to trick you, they just want to be able to pass the house on to the next lot of students with the minimum of fuss.

From your point of view, you want to protect yourself against time consuming disputes, so follow these 10 tips for a hassle free handover.

  • Is the house clean? Dig out the hoover and give it a good going over, most houses look considerably better once they’ve had a wash and brush up. Better still, keep up with the odd bit of cleaning during the year.
  • Is there any damage? Its best to come clean about something big – if damage can be sorted out offer to do so as this is often cheaper than paying for it out of your deposit – otherwise, own up and let your landlord make a decision about whether it comes under fair wear and tear.
  • Patch up paint scuffs and bits where you’ve stuck things on the wall – it will save on repainting costs.
  • Get organised! Take photos of your lovely clean house and/or any damage that could be disputed. In fact if there is anything dodgy when you first moved in it is a good idea to get photos then as well.
  • Check everything against the inventory you and your landlord signed when you moved in.
  • Pay off all the bills you owe – sort it out with housemates in good time before they disappear for ever and you are landed with their share of the bill!
  • Invite the landlord round a month or so beforehand so that you can get an idea of whether there are going to be any issues and where disputed areas might lie. This gives you a chance to sort things out before moving day. Have an independent 3rd party present too if you like.
  • Hand in keys when asked to so that the next people get a fair crack at moving their stuff in before the start of term.
  • Don’t even think about withholding rent – its illegal and not worth the hassle.
  • Dispute your deposit with the landlord only in the last resort – nobody wants it. But know your rights. If your deposit is listed in the tenancy agreement you signed when you moved in it may be protected under one of these schemes; The Deposit Protection Service, My Deposits and The Dispute Service known as The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The process is free and you can find details online.


About John I
I work in the digital marketing team. For expert comments on news stories or press releases, please contact me on john@parklaneproperties.com

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This post was written by John I