We don't want to have to make deductions from our tenants' deposits, if we are having to make charges it normally means that we'll have to spend time organising things to put right any damage etc. This takes time for us and costs us money in administration, so we've put together this guide to help our tenants avoid charges.
Pay your rent on time
If you don't pay your rent on time you will incur late payment fees of £35 each time a payment is late, interest may also be payable.
We ask that our tenants pay their rent by direct debit, this should help you to make sure your payments are made on time, for more information about direct debits click here.
We won't be able to return any deposits until all rent arrears are paid.
Pay your utilities
To make sure future tenants aren't harassed by debt collectors or threatening letters we ask that all tenants provide proof that their utilities (gas, electricity and water), are all paid before we can return any deposits.
Make sure you keep on top of your utilities throughout the year so you don't end up with big bills at then end of your tenancy. For more advice about utilities click here.
Please note: when you send us proof, it must cover until the very end of your tenancy.
Deal with your Council Tax
Similarly to utilities, we ask that all tenants show us proof that their council tax has been dealt with during their tenancy (Bristol and Birmingham only). For advice on how to deal with council tax please click here.
Once you've dealt with the council tax you will receive a letter from the council showing that either you've paid the council tax or that you have been given exemption, make sure to keep this document and send it to us (email@example.com), we will need to see it before we can return your deposits to you.
Please note: your exemption must cover the exact same dates as your tenancy.
Don't use Blu-Tack
We know that empty walls are boring and you want to make your house a home, you can do this without using blue-tac though. Blu-Tack leaves greasy marks on walls and doesn't look nice for the next tenants. If you use blue-tac on your walls then you will be charged about £40 per wall to have them re-painted when you move out. A great alternative is Poster Tape which is inexpensive and won't leave any marks.
Keep on top of cleaning
It's a lot easier to clean your house at the end of your tenancy if you've kept on top of cleaning throughout the year. In some cases (such as your oven, grouting around tiles or silicone around your sinks and baths), the damage caused throughout the year by not cleaning is irreparable. If we have to re-silicone around your sink or bath because the silicone has gone mouldy due to lack of cleaning, the charge will be about £40.
Setting up a cleaning rota is a great idea so the cleaning is shared out between you, or we can provide regular cleaning service to your house for an additional fee (please contact us for more information).
There is a final move out checklist, which details what we'll be looking for in the final inspection. Your final clean is much easier if you've cleaned regularly throughout your tenancy.
Report maintenance issues
Sometimes things break or stop working. But if you don't tell us about them during the tenancy, we will ask for the cost of repair to be taken from your deposit when you leave. There are lots of ways to report maintenance issues. You can report them on the website, or by calling your local branch and choosing option 3. It will also mean that you're not living with broken stuff.
We look after hundreds of student properties, which means that we might not be familiar with the exact details of your house. Take lots of time-stamped photos when you arrive and when you leave. If you need to dispute a deposit deduction, these photos will give us more information to work from. You won't need to send us these images unless you want to dispute anything on your deposit statement, but they will be really useful, just in case!
Clean the microwave
Microwaves can easily go rusty if they aren't looked after well. The moisture generated by cooking in a microwave tends to condense and pool in the microwave if it's not dried out or aired properly, this leads to rust which will mean the appliance will need to be replaced. To avoid this, make sure to keep the vents from your microwave clear, use a cloth or kitchen towel to dry the microwave after you've used it and keep the door ajar for a while after you've finished using it.
If gardening equipment is provided for you then you are expected to maintain your garden. If you leave it to the last minute then the job will be very difficult as cutting very long grass is not possible with an ordinary lawn mower. If you keep on top of your gardening it will be an easy job, and you'll have the benefit of a nice outside space to spend time in!
Find out more
Before you move out, we will send you lots of information about getting your deposit back. But, if you have any questions beforehand, read our frequently asked questions page.
Here, you'll find loads of useful information on deposits, deposit returns and disputes.