Students told to protect themselves from unscrupulous landlords

To coincide with this, The DPS has produced a new tenant’s guide to provide students with advice about moving into their first rental property.

‘The Deposit Protection Service: A Tenant’s Guide’ provides tenants with information on how the tenancy deposit protection scheme works and the obligations and responsibilities of landlords.

Kevin Firth, director of The DPS said:

“The Deposit Protection Service and National Union of Students are warning students to protect themselves against rogue landlords.

“Going away to university should be an exciting time for most students and putting in the time up front to make sure their deposit is correctly protected will mean there’s less chance of hassle in the long run. There are still too many landlords out there who are not registering their tenants’ deposits and this new guide will make sure all students are aware of their landlord’s obligations.” 

Ben Whittaker, NUS Vice-President (Welfare) said:

“It is important that all students check that their landlords are registered with an approved tenancy deposit scheme and only use a landlord who is. Using a tenancy deposit protection scheme will provide students with peace of mind that their deposits are safely protected and if there is a dispute then students will have a means of redress”.

The DPS and NUS have drawn up a list of top tips for students to remember:

– Before signing the tenancy agreement you should make sure it refers to how your deposit will be protected and the process for repayment
– Before handing over money you should insist on written proof that the landlord belongs to a Government-approved deposit protection scheme
– You should make your landlord aware that you will be expecting a written receipt from the scheme within 14 days of handing over the deposit
– Your inventory should include a schedule of condition report containing signed and dated photographs to prove what condition the property was in when you arrive and leave
– You should also be present to agree the inventory and sign the schedule of condition report so landlords can’t claim for damage done before you have moved in
 
The DPS and NUS believe that by following these simple steps, students can make sure their deposits are safe and properly protected.

Poppy Michelsen, aged 20, studying Environmental Geoscience at Cardiff University said:

“Many landlords will return a deposit in full but I know from the experience of friends that a few disreputable ones will try to swindle students out of the full sum.

“Living away from home for the first time is daunting, especially with the added responsibility that comes with renting a property.

“Knowing our deposit is secure gives my housemates and I comfort and peace of mind. I would advise other students to do the same, and take every measure to ensure their deposit is protected by a registered scheme.”

The new guide will be distributed by NUS and is available to download from The DPS’s website: www.depositprotection.com or accessed here: https://www.depositprotection.com/WebContent.ashx?docid=8c898ec3-a170-4581-93f3-889b289e5657

The DPS works by physically holding onto a tenant’s deposit, free of charge, for the term of the tenancy agreement. Under The DPS scheme the deposit remains protected even if the landlord or letting agent goes into administration.

The DPS is currently holding more than 575,000 tenants’ deposits, equating to over £420 million.