Being in a student house manages to be both immensely fun and incredibly harrowing at the same time. On the one hand, you get to constantly hang out with your friends and people you love the most. On the other hand, sometimes the standard of housing isn’t the best. A great deal of landlords could be accused of being picky - which is cause for concern when you’ve just put down a substantial wad of cash as a deposit…
It seems only yesterday that you were moving your stuff into your new student house and already the time has come for you to move on. But there’s one shadow hovering over the doorway that concerns you - the dreaded D-word (deposit).
Sadly, many students end up having to go through a lot of effort to get back the moola that they put down before they moved in. Here are our top tips to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you…
All the photographs
This should really be on a separate list entitled “things to do before you have your first house party.” When you first move into your student house, take all the photos you can. See a stain on the carpet? Snap. Hairline crack where the doorway meets the skirting board? Snap. Small indescript mammal living in the ceiling? Snap, then inform the appropriate authorities. You get the gist. Photos are your secret weapon for pleading your case against any charges that arise when you leave. In the same way, be sure to take tonnes of photos before you go of how you left the house.
On your marks, get set, scrub
Yes, sadly leaving a student house calls for a very thorough clean. And by very thorough, we mean extremely thorough. Housing contracts sometimes have something about cleaning to a professional standard otherwise you will be charged for a professional clean - trust us, these are not cheap. You may also want to check your responsibility to outside areas. Even if you have hardly been outside, you might be expected to clean up the leaves. (Yes, it seriously happens, and yes, it’s petty.) And be sure you get rid of all of your rubbish. Even if you’ve purchased a piece of furniture and want to leave it for the next tenants to use, they will charge you.
Replace your broken bits
You’ve probably broken something. People do. Especially students. They love breaking stuff. Seriously though, if you’ve accidentally destroyed a lampshade for example, it’s a lot cheaper to just replace it yourself. Charges for broken items can range from the unbelievable to the downright outrageous.
By everything, we mean everything. Make a lists of to-clean, to-replace, to-pay. Everything. That includes ensuring that you’ve paid off all of your utility bills. If you can tick it off, it no longer stands in the way of you and that sweet sweet deposit at the end of the rainbow. It’s also very important to make sure that you lock up and return all of the keys that were allocated to you and your housemates when you first moved in.