LONDON, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
As the new university year approaches - and at a time of sharply rising living costs, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is warning students about to start tenancies in privately let housing to take all necessary precautions to protect their deposit.
This warning has been issued to student organisations throughout the country.
"The euphoria of a new university year can turn to tears if the care is not taken over the often significant sums of money put down as a deposit and the possible amount that could be charged against damages at the end of a tenancy," warned Steve Harriott, Chief Executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. "Most students share, so even more care needs to be taken to ensure that housemates and flatmates are aware of their responsibilities and how they can protect each other against unnecessary bills."
At the outset, student tenants should ask their landlord or letting agent for details of the deposit protection scheme to be used. This is both to safeguard their deposit money and to provide dispute resolution if needed at the end of the tenancy.
A deposit registration certificate should be given to tenants within 14 days of handing over a deposit. However, students can check their registration with their deposit protection scheme on-line.
Tenants who find a property through a letting agent would be well advised to check that the firm has clients money protection insurance through their membership of one of the industry bodies or accreditation schemes and that they are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
A proper inventory and condition report is vital in the event of a dispute and it also helps remind fellow sharers of what has to be maintained and cared for. This should help protect against charges for damages and cleaning that can be set against the deposit.
Student tenants, almost inevitably sharing their accommodation, must remember that they are jointly and severally liable for the condition of the property and for ensuring that it is handed back at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as at the start.
The deposit is also taken against non-payment of rent as well as for damage and dilapidations. Failure to agree among sharers about how the rent is to be collected and paid over could lead to a loss of deposit, or, at best, some subsidising a few.
As well as taking the time to read their Tenancy Agreement carefully, tenants should visit the Tenancy Deposit Scheme website for an overview on how deposit protection works and read the recently published Guide to Deposits, Disputes and Damages. This has been agreed between all three deposit protection providers.
"It is really important for students and their parents to ask questions about where their deposit will be protected at the outset of the tenancy. It is the first line of defence for a satisfactory letting and a good time at university," Steve Harriott pointed out.
For guidelines to tenancy deposit protection and to check deposit registration visit http://www.tds.gb.com
SOURCE Tenancy Deposit Scheme