How to keep your house deposit when you move out

Moving out of your student digs can be a daunting prospect. You’ve got to pack up your whole life, ready to move on to pastures new, then there’s the added stress of negotiating with your landlord to try and get your precious deposit back (and let’s face it, you could really do with that money given that your bank account could plunge into your overdraft at any time!).

Carpet cleaning expert Rug Doctor, has put together a list of helpful, cost-effective tips to help you make your pad sparkling clean and give you the best chance of getting your deposit back.

The landlord should have an inventory for the house, so when you move in make sure everything is listed and is in the condition it says it’s in. If not, update the record, ideally when the landlord is with you. It’s also a good idea to keep a copy and make sure it is signed and dated by both parties.

Photograph everything
When you move in take images of everything. Go in with an eagle eye and photograph all the rooms paying particular attention to any stains, broken furniture or marks. Send copies to the landlord and make a note of them on the inventory. Remember to take photos when you move out as well, to help prove you left it in the condition you found it in.

Read your contract carefully. It may well stipulate that you have to give a certain number of weeks’ notice before vacating the property. Make sure you know how long this is and if you’ve got a specific date you have to be out by.

Leave the walls alone
Although it’s tempting to plaster the walls with posters, photos and mementos – using BlueTac or double sided tape the marks they all leave behind really aren’t worth it. You might really love that selfie of your best mate in a monkey onesie, but your landlord won’t love the adhesive marks it leaves behind and will take money from your deposit if they have to repaint the walls.

Replace simple items
Make sure you replace simple items, such as light bulbs, as this could save you a lot of money in the long run. Before you leave make sure all the light bulbs work or you might find your deposit has been used to purchase some very expensive eco-bulbs.

Clean regularly
Although it might seem like a chore, cleaning your house on a regular basis will make life easier for you when it comes to moving out as there won’t be as much to do.

Deep clean
Before you leave, give the house a deep clean from top to bottom. That means carefully cleaning every surface, nook and cranny to make sure your home looks like when you moved in! Although it might seem like a long and boring process it won’t take long if everyone chips in and you divide chores between you and your housemates.

Clean your carpets
You may not realise it, but carpets can hide a multitude of sins. Whether it’s trodden in dirt, food debris and drink stains from a wild house party, or more severe lingering odours from spills that have gone unnoticed, your carpets are probably in need of some serious TLC.

Many students faced with the prospect of losing their deposit because of the condition of their carpets, rent a Rug Doctor which can have your carpets stain free and looking, feeling and smelling as good as new in no time. Better still, from under £35.00 for a 24 hour rental including carpet detergent and a upholstery cleaning tool, it’s easy on a student budget if shared with other housemates! Don’t leave it until the last day though, as the rooms need to be well ventilated to help the drying process. Your landlord will be amazed with the bounce you’ve put back in the carpet and the fresh smell that has returned to the house, without the cost of having to invest in a brand new one!

Clean those hard to reach places
If you have blinds in your property you’ll notice that they can easily accumulate and trap dust. Although they can be tricky to clean, try putting a sock on each hand, using one with a soapy water solution to clean and the other to wipe clean. You can also give the cord a good clean by immersing in a solution of one quarter bleach to three quarters water and leaving to soak for a few hours. The cord will come out as clean as the day it was first installed and help to make your rented accommodation look spick and span!

Recapture the sparkle
Kitchen and bathroom tile grout can remain grubby and greasy if they aren’t given a thorough scrub. Recapture its sparkle with a simple hand-made solution of chlorine bleach and water (half and half). Wearing rubber gloves and ensuring that the room is well ventilated, use a stiff bristled brush to scrub the blackened area with the chlorine solution. Leave to sit for 20 minutes and rinse afterwards with plain water to remove the bleach, dirt and any mildew build-up.

You’ve given your house a thorough clean and it’s now looking better than the day you moved in – you should get that precious deposit back! But just in case you have any issues with your landlord, make sure you know your rights as a tenant – if you feel you’re being treated unfairly speak to your student advice centre for assistance and guidance.

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