The National Union of Students (NUS) are arguing that more needs to be done to tackle landlords unfairly targeting students with deposit deductions following a 2019 Homes Fit For Study report stated that just 61% of surveyed students who paid a deposit received it back in full at the end of their tenancy.
In light of the report, the NUS is now urging the government to start penalising landlords. The Tenant Fees Act was introduced in June to protect renters from unfair agency fees, but failed to cover the issue of deposit deductions.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), which provides insurance-backed and custodial deposit protection, has advised students to be “methodical and thorough” when it comes to dealing with landlords.
Steve Harriott, Group Chief Executive at TDS, insists there are many tactics to ensure the entire deposit is returned when the rental agreement comes to an end.
He said: “We highly recommend students read the inventory to their rental property when they move in. We recommend they are methodical and thorough, making comments along the way on the document where it does not reflect the contents, condition or cleanliness of the property. Throughout the tenancy, any issues should be reported to the landlord or agency and a record must be kept.
“We urge students to raise a dispute (insured) or repayment request (custodial) with TDS at the end of the tenancy if they do not feel the landlord is proposing fair deductions, or the landlord is not responding to their requests at all.”
One third year Economics and Politics student, told The Mancunion about his experience: ” We didn’t get our deposit back for a multitude of reasons. Our landlord found damages that were microscopic then tried to charge us saying the items needed to be replaced. He also charged us to fix things beyond the quality of what they were when we moved in – the carpet was fine but he charged us to get it professionally cleaned and to repaint the walls.
“There were so many reasons he gave, I just prepared not to get my deposit back. I’d been fighting with him all year over things, [and] I physically and mentally wasn’t going to be able to fight him all summer for my deposit. Through the year he tried to scam us in so many ways.”