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Top tips for students vacating rental properties

Spillages and damage will mean deductions from your deposit, which is only fair. But if you find yourself with a landlord or agent who you feel may be unfairly withholding deposit money, here are some simple steps you can take:

– First and foremost, speak to your landlord or agent directly – this is the easiest step to take and often resolves any issues straight away
– If an agreement over the deposit amount can’t be reached, then my|deposits can offer vital advice and information on what to do next
– As a tenant, you have three months from the end date of your tenancy to raise a deposit dispute, so don’t put it off until the end of the holidays! Act now
– If you have been sharing a property, decide who is going to lead and conduct all aspects of the deposit dispute – this person will need written authority to act on behalf of all the joint tenants
– The tenant raising the dispute will have to agree to fairly distribute the returned deposit money with the other joint tenants – you won’t be able to keep the money for yourself!
– Once the deposit scheme has been notified of a dispute you will have 10 working days in which to send in any remaining evidence either by post or email
– Evidence is crucial – keep as much evidence as possible to back up your case!
– To find out if your deposit is protected with mydeposits go to www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/tenant-isyourdepositprotected.htm

The last port of call is a Dispute Resolution service to resolve your dispute. However both you and your landlord must agree to this. If party does not agree, then the dispute must be resolved through the Court.

Eddie Hooker of mydeposits.co.uk said, “Although the majority of students do look after their rental properties, it’s worth remembering that a lack of care will be obvious to the landlord when the time comes to check out, and anything above and beyond fair wear and tear will result in deductions from the tenancy deposit.

“Agreeing on a deposit deduction in such a situation can be difficult for tenants at the best of times. Students are newer to the rentals market and should be aware that there is advice and support available to them, should they find themselves in a dispute with their landlord over a deposit.”

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One thought on “Top tips for students vacating rental properties

  1. Kenni James says:

    UK laws on protecting a tenant deposit changed for the good of the tenant in April 2007, when the Tenancy Deposit Protection regulations came into force.
    People taking an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) who 1) Pay a Deposit; and 2) whose Deposit can be used if the tenant falls into arrears or messes up the property are owed duties by the landlord (*provided that the annual rental is no more than £25,000 PA, though as of October 1st 2010, that amount will rise to £100,000 PA). They are that the Landlord must pay the deposit into one of the approved schemes and that the Landlord must also give the tenant specific information to his/ her deposit and the scheme into which it is placed. If this is not carried out within a given timeframe, then the tenant can take the Landlord to Court and the Landlord will be forced to pay a set amount of money under a Strict Liability court ruling.
    The Landlord may make defend the claim or even make a counter-claim if they believe that you have breached the terms of the AST, but this cannot be used as mitigation and has nothing to do with the tenant claim. Courts have usually ordered that the Landlord make a separate claim.
    The property that you rented must have been one that you occupied as you main home and one where the Landlord did not live at the property but lived elsewhere. If the Landlord lived at the property, they will not usually have to protect the deposit, although the rules are quite complicated (Paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1988).
    The claim is always against the person who received the deposit, if it was the Landlord, then the claim is against them, if it was an Agent, then they are directly responsible for the deposit. The law says that the ‘Landlord’ includes anybody that is acting on their behalf and if in doubt, sue the Landlord. If there is more than one of them, make a claim against them all. Note that the address has to be in England or Wales. If you are unsure of who the responsible person is, make the claim against the Landlord.
    You can find out who the Landlord (registered proprietor) is by asking the person to whom you pay the rent. They have a duty to provide the information to you within 21 days, failure to do so is a Criminal Offence under UK law. Many Landlords try to hide their details through their Agent but the Agent cannot refuse to provide the information that you request.
    The legislation is to protect tenants in the UK and not provide them with a windfall payment. However it has been shown that the Courts do not take kindly to Landlords that wilfully ignore, or seem to wilfully ignore the basic and simple regulations.
    AUTHOR – Kenni James
    http://www.RecoverMyDeposit.co.uk – FREE and professional legal advice for UK tenants
    0800 542 4886

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