If you’re moving into private accommodation, your landlord will want you to put down a deposit. Read on to find out why – and how to make sure you get it back...
Your landlord should also provide you with an inventory. This is a list of all the furniture and appliances in the property. Make sure that everything listed on the inventory is actually there, and note any damage, as you could be charged if anything is missing or broken later. Ask your landlord to make any necessary repairs before you move in.
Your landlord also has to put your deposit in an approved deposit protection scheme, and provide written proof of this. Keep copies of that, the contract, the inventory, and any other important documents in a safe place. It’s also a good idea to keep copies of any emails or letters you send to your landlord, in case you need to refer to them later.
Nor do they have to fix any damage that’s your fault. So if you break a window, get red wine on the carpet or bang big holes in the wall putting up a poster, you’ll have to sort it out yourself or the cost will be deducted from your deposit.
Also make sure you're up-to-date with your rent and bills, so the landlord can't deduct money from your deposit to cover any you haven't paid. You should also notify your utility and telephone suppliers that you're moving out if necessary, so they don't keep sending you bills.
Your deposit will be returned to you by the deposit protection scheme after the landlord has checked the house. This normally takes a couple of weeks, but if you feel like your landlord is taking too long or is keeping too much of your deposit, ask your university’s student housing officer for advice, and contact the deposit protection scheme directly.