Students: The National Deposit Scheme is only as strong as you make it! Don’t rely on it alone to protect your money…22/11/2011
Students: The National Deposit Scheme is only as strong as you make it! Don’t rely on it alone to protect your money…
Student rental advisory website NakedTenant.co.uk has said that despite the National Deposit Scheme which is designed to protect rental deposits, many student tenants are still getting ripped off by their landlords.
Calvin Santana, a student from Oxford Brookes, said “At the end of our tenancy an inventory was carried out by a specialist company. After 10 days, we were contacted by our letting agent who told us that none of our deposit would be returned and that we owed them £500 for damage/replacements. After a crisis meeting in the pub we decided to ask for a complete breakdown of the charges. Eventually, (after 8 weeks!) we received final details of the total amount being claimed. When we looked through this we realised some of the charges were outrageous for example, £50 to remove a working TV and £400 for dust! So we got together and drafted a second letter setting out our objections and what we felt was fair. A couple of weeks later we got £500 back!’’
Naked Tenant believes that the National Deposit Scheme is a solid scheme and really helps to protect tenant’s money, but the scheme is only as strong as the tenants make it. They need to make sure that they carefully read through the breakdown of costs, calculate what they believe to be the correct charges and be willing to stand firm with their decision. Ed Brimfield, a student from Bristol University, was concerned about a £250 charge for cleaning and so asked the agency for details of the cleaning company they had used. The student said ‘’when I investigated further, I discovered this company didn’t even exist!’’
Many tenants think that because the scheme is a legal requirement introduced by the government, they have no say in negotiating the amount of their deposit they should get back, and as a result, end up paying a lot more than they should to the landlord. It is highly unlikely that you will receive all your deposit back as over a 12 month tenancy some fair charges are likely to have occurred, so it is important that both sides have fair expectations in their negotiations.
For helpful free advice, check out TheNakedTenant.co.uk