(How to get all your tenancy deposit back)
Firstly, we want your group to get a full tenancy deposit refund. We are always delighted when our tenants get a full refund because this means your student accommodation was left exactly as it was when you moved in, so we have nothing to do except arrange your deposit refund. Joy!!
Please remember that you must all vacate your student accommodation by 11:00am on the last day of your tenancy (as stated in your tenancy agreement). No exceptions can be made. We cannot allow access to the property after this time. Failure to vacate your student accommodation on time will result in additional rent being charged in accordance with the terms of your tenancy agreement.
As we explain when our tenants move in, the time to think about the return of your deposit is the day you all move in and every day until the end of your tenancy; if you start thinking about your deposit refund only in the last few days of your tenancy, you've probably left it too late already. But there are things you can all do.
The most common deduction from tenancy deposits is cleaning. You can avoid these charges by ensuring that your student house is as clean at the end of your tenancy as it was at the beginning. Cleaning must be done to a professional standard. Our cleaners usually take about 6 hours to thoroughly clean a kitchen with one oven and one fridge/freezer. It takes longer to clean a bigger kitchen with two ovens and two fridge/freezers. If your group have cleaned your kitchen more quickly, you haven't cleaned it properly!
Other common deductions are for damage, rubbish removal and rent arrears.
You are responsible for cleaning your own bedroom. Thoroughly clean your room before you leave. Don't forget to clean under your bed and on top of your wardrobe.
All personal items must be removed, including televisions, items of furniture, duvets and pillows. Remember to remove all coat hangers.
You can dispose of stuff at the Council tip free of charge. We cannot. We have to pay commercial rates to tip rubbish. And because we are too busy at this time of year to take your rubbish to the tip we will have to use a commercial waste contractor who will make a minimum charge of £50.
We will be happy to advise you where to take your rubbish if you just ask. Do not just dump it in the back lane; the neighbours will be extremely annoyed and you are likely to be fined by Plymouth City Council. Do not over fill wheelie bins as again you are likely to be fined by the Council.
Make sure that recycling is recycled. Recycling involves taking stuff somewhere, not just collecting it for 12 months!
Every room in your student accommodation (including hall, stairs and landing) must be vacuumed. Please check that the vacuum cleaner bag is not already full before you start as otherwise the vacuum cleaner will be damaged. The inside of windows must be cleaned.
Blutac must be removed from walls and ceilings. Blutac marks left on walls/ceilings of student accommodation will incur redecorating charges as explained in your tenancy agreement.
Ensure that all communal areas in your student accommodation are cleaned. Agree with your housemates who is going to do what. Everyone should do his or her share. Remember you and your housemates are jointly responsible for these areas.
The inside of all kitchen cupboards (including all communal cupboards and the cutlery drawer) must be cleaned, using a damp cloth and a cream cleaner. Cookers must be cleaned inside and out. Do NOT use a scourer as it will damage the stainless steel. If you want advice on any aspect of cleaning your student accommodation please just ask.
Fridge's and freezers must be switched off at the wall and defrosted. Make sure that melting ice is collected (the washing up bowl can be used for this purpose). A defrosting freezer should be supervised (water mopped up regularly) and not just left as otherwise serious water damage can occur. Once defrosted and cleaned the door must be left open (otherwise the internal walls will go black with mould). MAKE SURE THE FRIDGE/FREEZER IS SWITCHED OFF AT THE WALL.
Remember to tell us before you leave your student house. If given enough notice we will meet with you, read the meters and collect your keys. A deduction will be made from your deposit for the cost of replacement locks if you do not return your keys on time.
If you are posting your keys back to us please use 'signed for' mail and tape the keys onto card inside a jiffy bag; there's no point us signing for an empty envelope! Make sure you have paid the full postage; we will not pay any postage due and will not therefore receive your keys if you have not paid the correct postage.
Make sure that you tell everyone your new address. Don't forget to change the delivery address on any internet shopping accounts. We regret that we cannot forward or keep any mail that is delivered to your student accommodation after you leave. Any mail that arrives for you will be marked 'return to sender' and put back in a post box. You can arrange mail redirection via Royal Mail (www.royalmail.com).
Return of tenancy deposit
Your tenancy deposit will be returned as soon as possible. It should certainly be returned to you within six weeks of the end of your tenancy, and usually much sooner.
After the end of your tenancy we will check the inventory that you signed when you moved in, to check for any damage or breakages. Allowance is made for normal wear and tear.
Unless bills are included in your rent, before we can refund your tenancy deposit we need proof that the bills (water, electricity & gas) have been paid up to the closing meter readings taken on the last day of your tenancy (not earlier readings, even if you move out before the end of your tenancy). You must also terminate and pay for any other services that you have subscribed to (satellite TV etc.). It is your responsibility to close the accounts and get final bills. You should arrange for the final bills to be sent to you (NOT to us) at your new address.
Once the final bills have been settled we will email you a statement of any deductions from your tenancy deposit (hopefully none at all!). Please ensure that we have your current email address (if you have a university email address which expires when you leave university, you will need to give us a new email address).
This process is usually very much quicker if the bills were included in your rent. We have online account management and can usually get final utility bills within a few days so only very rarely is there any delay whilst we wait for the final bills. Delays in making refunds usually arise only when tenants have been responsible for paying their own bills but have not managed their utility bills properly. So for this reason we suggest that if you are paying your own bills, submit meter readings and obtain accurate bills a month or so BEFORE the end of your tenancy. This allows plenty of time to resolve any issues that might arise well in advance of the final bills being issued to the closing meter readiongs at the end of your tenancy.
We are always delighted when we can refund tenancy deposits without any deductions because this means we've had no issues to resolve.
Once the amount of any deductions have been agreed we will transfer the balance of your tenancy deposit direct to your bank account and your tenancy deposit will be unprotected.
The amount of deductions is entirely within your control. Deductions can be avoided. It's down to you.Location