It's nearly time to move out of your student accommodation, but what about your deposit? Find out all about housing deposits and how to protect yours!
What is a tenancy deposit and how can I make sure mine is protected?
Renting student accommodation, either a flat or house, during your studies can be a really exciting thing! Picking out what area you’d like to live in, what friends you want to share your space with, even deciding which pictures to display are all fun parts of the process. However, there are lots of serious things to consider too –from making sure you read your contract really carefully to paying a deposit and making moving plans.
But what is a deposit and how can you make sure yours is protected?
What is a deposit?
A deposit is a sum of money that a landlord may ask for before you rent the property, it could also be called a security deposit. This is money that you pay before you move in and could be as much as five weeks’ rent.
You can calculate the maximum deposit you could be asked to pay using this formula:
Monthly rent x 12 ÷ 52 x 5 = maximum tenancy deposit
The deposit is held for the duration of the tenancy, but then should be returned to you unless certain deductions are made. Deductions could be made for property damage or if any remaining rent is owed. Although deductions could be taken out of your deposit for property damage, your landlord cannot charge you for fair wear and tear.
Deposit protection schemes
When you pay a deposit to your landlord, they must enter the money into a deposit protection scheme. This must be done within 30 days and your landlord should give you written evidence that this has been done and information on where your deposit is protected.
There are three deposit protection schemes in the UK: Deposit Protection Service (DPS), Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and mydeposits.
Check to see if your deposit is protected
You can check which scheme your deposit is protected with by searching each of the schemes’ websites. In order to check that your deposit is protected, you will need your postcode, surname, tenancy start date and the deposit amount.
Not sure if your deposit is protected?
If you’re not sure whether your deposit has been protected or you’ve reached the end of your tenancy and the deposit hasn’t been released back to you, you can get in touch with our Advice Service. They can offer free, confidential and independent advice on housing issues, including tenancy agreements and deposits.
You can reach them via email at email@example.com or find them on our website.
We want to hear about your experiences!
Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Advice Service is trying to encourage more students to dispute unreasonable deductions made to their tenancy deposits. To do this we want to find out more about your experiences. If you have had a deduction made from your deposit at the end of a tenancy or your landlord has said they are going to, but you have successfully argued against this then we want to hear from you. Each person that fills out our questionnaire will be sent a £10 Morrison’s voucher.
You can complete the survey here.