How Students Can Avoid Losing their Deposit

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It’s always a nervous time of year for students. Not only are they awaiting important exam results, but many are moving out of rental properties and awaiting news on their deposits. Just as good grades can’t be guaranteed, neither can full refunds; however, there are certainly ways of helping to get most, if not all of your money back after tenancy.

First of all you need to review your tenancy agreement. There are plenty of people in this world who are more than happy to sign important contracts without properly reviewing the terms, but when it comes to moving out this lethargy can come back to haunt you.

More often than not, landlords will stipulate that any tenant has to ensure that the house is properly maintained. This doesn’t mean giving it a quick once over just before you leave. Landlords often demand that it is left exactly as it was when you moved in, enabling them to let it out immediately. Failure to do this will inevitably lead to money being removed from your initial deposit.

The deposit is very much a safety net for landlords or letting agencies. It shouldn’t be used to subsidise revenue or blackmail tenants, but it is there to ensure that if the home, furniture or appliances are damaged, that any repairs can be paid for.

But even if you haven’t caused any damage per se, you could still be liable for any cleaning that needs to be done after you vacate the home. Many people are unduly worried about getting the carpets back to perfect condition, which will need to be done, but forget to give their kitchen the attention it needs.

This isn’t particularly sensible, particularly as it is probably the biggest dirt trap in any home. In a student house, where there is likely to be a number of inhabitants, each of whom works to a different standard of cleanliness, filth can quickly pile up. Whether it’s grease in the cupboards, stains on the floor or grime in the oven, it’s important that you deal with it effectively.

Some people are often surprised to find that their tenancy contract includes a special mention when it comes to the state of the oven. As it is such an important and well-used appliance, it is important that it is properly maintained. This means ensuring that it is thoroughly cleaned, and not just a quick surface clean.

In fact some contracts will stipulate that it must be professionally cleaned, with all receipts and invoices to prove that it has been done. Failure to do so could result in the landlord paying for it to be cleaned again, taking the money from your deposit. Therefore even if you have invested the time in scrubbing off the surface dirt, it could well be in vain anyway.

Therefore the lesson to be learnt here is that if your contract says your oven needs to be cleaned, then you need to make sure that it is. If you try to take the easy or cheap way out, you may well end up paying twice. This is why companies like Ovenu are happy to offer students a cost effective valeting service. You’ll get a spotless oven and hopefully secure the whole of your deposit when the time comes to move.

in Cleaning Tips, Landlords and Tenants, Oven Cleaning by Rik Hellewell
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