8 Towards the end of the tenancy agreement
As you move towards the end of your year in a student property there are certain matters you need to be prepared for.
Your landlord or the agent will be showing round prospective tenants for the next year. Sometimes the landlord can expect you to do the tour of the property on their behalf. This can actually start quite early in your year in residence. The peak time for viewings is January and February. Make sure you store away securely your valuable items in case you’re out at the time of a viewing.
The prospect of your landlord turning up at short notice should be an incentive to keep your property clean and tidy. Your landlord might make checks on the property at other times too.
Keep your notes of all the issues you raised with your landlord during the year and whether the issues remain unresolved. When you leave take some final photos for evidence of how you’ve left the property.
When you leave there’ll be a final inspection and this will determine how much of your deposit your landlord feels should be returned. Be prepared for deductions from your deposit if the landlord decides that additional cleaning is necessary or where repairs and replacements have to be made as a result of how you looked after the property. Be ready to be charged for replacing light bulbs. The costs will include the cost of the bulbs but also the cost of fitting them. There is one reported case where a tenant was charged £109 for the replacement of a £3 light bulb.
If there are no disputes between you and your landlord about any deductions you should receive your deposit back (net of any deductions agreed) within 10 days.
If deductions from the deposit are disputed take up your case with the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme.
So to help avoid a financial shock when you move out: prepare carefully, checking all lights and appliances, and keeping a good written record of property matters supported by photos. Be aware that some landlords will not only refuse to return any of the deposit but will also submit a bill for the cost of extra remedial work needed at the end of the rental. At the very least many former tenants experience a long delay before they get their deposit back.