As the end of the university year draws to a close, it is around this time that a lot of tenancy agreements come to an end. Typically, the matter of whether you are going to get your deposits back for your place is heavily discussed. A few parties that got out of hand or accumulated mess or damage is not something that university households are strangers to. This often results in landlord and student disputes over what they should be getting back, which can be stressful.
Deposits can be a bit of a headache and a lot of people don’t fully understand the correct proceedings with them. For those of you who are entering into a new tenancy agreement and are currently ‘house hunting’ for next year’s new accommodation, there has been recent news that you need to be aware of.
A new report carried out by the Centre of Economic Business Research (Cebr) found that around 300,00 landlords are facing fines for not holding their tenants’ deposits correctly.
It is thought that rule-breaking landlords could be earning up to £8.5 million a year in interest on deposits that are supposed to be kept in a secure, third-party, government-backed scheme.
What Students Should Know
- Since April 2007, it has been a legal requirement for landlords to place any deposit they receive into a tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP).
- It was introduced as a safe guard for tenants’ money from unreliable landlords.
- As mentioned above, this was due to dispute between students and landlords who were docked deposits for unjustified/false reasons.
- It allows you to challenge any deposit charges if you’re unhappy with their verdict.
The Approved TDP Schemes in England
When Disputes Occur
Sometimes, unfortunately it is difficult to come to an agreement between landlord and tenant. If your landlord does correctly enter your deposit into the scheme, then both parties have the ability to enter into a dispute resolution service, that will fairly access and solve any issues. This will ensure the best outcome possible and resolve any unfair treatment or withholdings.
Currently there are 1.9 million landlords in the UK. Cebr recently estimated, based on recent trends, that at the moment only around 85% of landlords in the UK are actually complying with the deposit scheme.
This, when broken down, shows that 15% (around 284,000) of landlords are not correctly protecting students’ deposits, so there is a definite need to be wary.
If you do find that your landlord fails to deliver your scheme documents within the first thirty days and your money has not been protected, you should speak to your university or even take legal action.
As mentioned above, any deposit you provide should be entered in one of these schemes within thirty days of you giving them the fee. After this is done, every landlord must give you clear and detailed information regarding the deposit. If you don’t receive a notification of this, you should formally request it from your landlord as they are required to give you proof. The last thing you want with all the stresses of studying is household disputes on top. By ensuring that your deposit is safe, you can focus your attention on the more important university matters such as what takeaway to get!