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Quote Ref: WS1

£32m – the price students pay for not signing an inventory


Almost £300m worth of student deposits are taken each year by landlords, yet many students are not au fait with the importance of signing inventories before they move in, nor finding out which tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) their money will be secured with.

Data from has revealed thatover a third(38%) of students can expect to lose part of their deposit when they leave their privately rented accommodation.

The study also found:

  • 79% of students do not sign a photo inventory before they move in;
  • 53% said it may have been easier to get the full deposit back if they had signed an inventory;
  • 196,766 students had almost a third of their deposit (£164) kept by their landlord, with two out of three saying their deposit was kept unfairly.

Why are deposits being kept?

According to the survey, the reasons included the property not being clean, damage, and excessive wear and tear. Just 5% of landlords said unpaid bills.

With student rentals accounting for a lot of money in the private rental sector, they need to take control by:

  • asking their landlord about the TDS their money is held in and get a copy of the paperwork;
  • agree and sign inventories – and photo inventories – before they move in;
  • keeping the property clean and tidy and taking care not to damage any furniture and fittings;
  • letting the landlord (or letting agency) know as soon as possible if there are any problems (e.g. a leak or broken dishwasher);
  • fully understand the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement and making sure they keep to it.