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Going to study abroad? You will surely need a place to stay. Already in an apartment abroad – make sure you can close it out when you leave without any debt. This week we are happy to have Brett Janes as our guest blogger, who covers the important topic of how to ensure you get the deposit back on your student accommodation. Make sure that you don’t lose money in the process. It happens all the time. Reading on will increase the chances that it doesn’t happen to you.
Renting student accommodation is usually the same process as with any other type of accommodation in that you need to pay a deposit up front before you can move in. The deposit secures your place in the accommodation but there’s a good chance you won’t get it back if you suddenly decide to pull out.
Not all places will ask for a deposit, such as Urbanest student accommodation, but they may well ask for rent up front which will then be taken off your total amount you owe. With a deposit, however, you will get this back once your tenancy is over as long as you leave the property as you found it (i.e. clean).
Here are some tips on how to ensure you get that deposit back…
Start BEFORE your move in
This probably isn’t much use if you’re two weeks away from leaving but you should ideally think about your deposit before you move in, and the best way to do this is by filling in an inventory. This will list everything that came with the property and also give you the opportunity to highlight any problems with it to prove to the landlord it was like that when you moved in.
Keep on top of your cleaning
Keeping the place clean might not be top of your to-do list throughout the year, but it’ll pay dividends when it comes to getting your deposit back. If you leave all of your cleaning until the very last minute then not only will it takes ages to do, but you might find it extra difficult to shift some of the dirt and stains. If your place really is filthy, then you might want to consider getting some professional cleaners in to give the property a once over. Give the Yellow Pages a flick through if you need to find a decent cleaner.
Once you’re done with your cleaning, take photographs of pretty much everything to prove your handy work. If your landlord comes back to you and says that something is missing or is damaged then you can whip out your photos and prove that you left everything as you found it.
Read your contract
It’s essential that you know what’s expected of you by your landlord, so give your contract a good read, including the small print. You might be required to clean particular areas of the house, such as the windows, and if you don’t then you may be charged for it.
Ask the landlord to come and check the place
If you’re worried whether your property is up to standards or not then simply invite your landlord round a couple of weeks before you leave to carry out a pre-inspection. They can then go around the place and see if it’s up to scratch, pointing out areas that they feel you need to improve.
Contact the Tenancy Dispute service if necessary
If not all goes to plan and you end up having a dispute with your landlord over your deposit, then it might be worth speaking to the Tenancy Dispute Service. Both you and your landlord will likely be invited to a hearing where you’ll both present your evidence, and this is where all those inventories and photographs come in very handy! Hopefully it shouldn’t come to this but it’s worth knowing just in case.
About the author:
Brett Janes is an MA writing student at LJMU, UK, founder of literary organisation King Yeti and a member of The Wild Writers, a collective who run events and exhibitions throughout the Northwest UK. He doesn’t have spare time, but he’s somehow writing a novel in the time he has, focusing on rural living, relationships and giant cannibal rats. A lot of his writing is speculative.