A Student's Guide for Actually Getting Your Accommodation Deposit Back
We've all been there, when the end of the year is slowly looming and the time comes to start thinking about clearing out your student house and most importantly, what you can do to hang on to as much of that hefty deposit you paid as possible to fund your summer plans.
Unfortunately, student landlords are notorious for holding on to as much of your hard-earned cash as possible so you don't need to give them an excuse to refuse your full deposit in a hurry.
Research suggests that just one in four students (27.5%) receive 90 per cent or more of their deposit back at the end of their tenancy, compared to around 60% of tenants nationally.
Here at The Furniture Market, we thought we'd investigate some of the weirdest reasons why people have lost their deposits whilst at university to help give you the best chance of getting your full amount back when the time comes:
1) Replace anything that is broken
Copious amounts of alcohol, house parties and someone else's furniture was never going to be a good combination really, was it? Whether you've broken the toilet seat from falling off it after having one too many vodka red bulls or you've stumbled into the TV stand whilst doing your best drunken Beyonce impression, anything that's noticeably broken needs to be replaced ASAP so that deductions aren't made from your deposit at the end. The furniture will cost you to replace but it's cheaper to do it yourselves than pay the £100+ landlord's charge.
2) Girl Only Tips
Now although male students tend to be more boisterous than girls, leading to damaged furniture and smashed bottles, girls are prone to some crucial deposit deducting habits which can be avoided. Gals, listen up and take note; never fake tan without being stood on a towel, don't dye your hair anywhere else other than in the shower, always paint your nails resting on a book or magazine, and be sure to check your room for any fake eyelashes removed in a drunken daze that have been trodden into the carpet - yes, students were charged a £77 removal fee each for those pesky lashes.
3) Only Host a BBQ if you have the Experience
Whilst university is the time for experimenting in lots of different ways, when it comes to naked flames, be it in the kitchen or hosting a BBQ, only doing it if you know how is the best advice we can give. We spoke to students who accidentally burnt the garden fence down by trying to light a BBQ and it cost them a whopping £100 each out of their deposit... talk about having money to burn. The key bit of advice to take away from this is to attend everyone else's BBQs and politely avoid ever hosting your own.
4) Facebook Likes Can Cost
Whilst it can be tempting to post on Facebook pictures boasting about your hilarious antics and mishaps, for some students this cost them more than they ever bargained for when one of them rode an ironing board down the stairs and lost his toe, before having it stitched back on. Someone showed their landlord the photo evidence they'd shared on Facebook and the poor guy was left both toeless and out of pocket when he was charged a fee and banned from returning to the property the next year.
5) Party Prep
House parties make the best parties it's a fact, but when it's someone else's house you're living in this can pose a bit of an issue. The best way to prevent any damage to walls, carpets and furniture is simply by covering it all up. Whether you choose to cover the walls in tin foil to prevent mishaps, lay bin bags on the floor to protect the carpets, or to move all the valuables upstairs out of the way, you'll be thankful for doing the extra party prep when it comes to getting your deposit back. Take the students who lost £500 when they hosted a Halloween party and got paint all over their walls from two red devils who turned up and leant against the walls all night and learn from their mistakes.
Other handy hints and tips that we picked up include:
* Don't draw on the walls
* Water and electricity do NOT mix well (seriously)
* Don't forget to clear out any rubbish or recycling
* If you make holes in the walls be sure to get some Polyfilla on them ASAP
* Don't let your pets use the washing machine as a toilet
Other than good behavior and treating the property with care, there are plenty of ways to help ensure that your deposit is returned at the end of your tenancy. These might include using an authorised deposit protection scheme, making sure you complete a detailed itinerary of the property when you move in, and making sure you read your contract before signing to know exactly what you might be liable for. Also, keeping copies of any communication with your landlord, and other important documents, in writing will come in handy in case of any disputes regarding unfair deductions.
By taking this advice on board, hopefully you'll be able to get your deposit back this year, just in time to fund those Jagerbombs and wild nights on the Magaluf strip you've got lined up, before heading back to university again next year.