Majority of students lose their tenancy deposit claims new research

New research from Nationwide FlexStudent has revealed that the majority of students lose their deposit in full at the end of their tenancy, despite over two thirds disputing it.

Related topics:  Landlords
Warren Lewis
4th October 2018
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According to the research, students are being hit with an average bill of £150 once they part ways with their digs and eight in ten feel the money was held back unfairly.

Nationwide found that of those that lost their deposit, 55% lost it in full, and although more than two thirds (68%) of these disputed the loss, less than a third (29%) got the total amount back as a result, while just under a fifth (19%) didn’t get anything back at all.

The research, which surveyed over 1,000 students who left university in the last two years, was conducted to highlight the money struggles of university students and the lack of awareness and experience across areas such as housing and budgeting.

It highlights gender as playing a big part in success rates of getting a refund, with male students (39%) far more likely to get a refund compared to their female counterparts (22%). A quarter (25%) of female students get nothing back after complaining, compared to around one in ten (11%) male students. However, male students lose more money on average (£167) than female students (£141).

The poll also found that many students have come to accept that they might lose some of their deposit, with close to seven in ten (68%), saying they didn’t expect to get all their money back in full. The average amount of deposit lost is £150 – around half of the national average student deposit.

When it comes to saving money, over half of students surveyed (55%) said they didn’t haggle on rent, two in five (40%) didn’t check how much their property agents were charging them, three in five (61%) didn’t shop around for utility deals, just under two thirds (65%) didn’t take meter readings, over seven in ten (77%) didn’t request a TV licence refund while they were away from the property and more than a quarter (28%) didn’t check if they could live in the accommodation over the summer months.

Students surveyed also said that housemates left them out of pocket, with just over a fifth (21%) saying they didn’t pay the bills on time and the same percentage saying they borrowed money without paying it back. Just under a fifth (19%) reported that housemates caused damage to the property and 11 per cent said they refused to pay bills at all.

Carl Burke, Nationwide’s Head of Current Account Products, said: “University life can be a challenge, particularly as students acclimatise to standing on their own two feet. We would always urge students to prepare for living away, so that there is less chance of a nasty surprise when their time at university comes to an end.

When it comes to getting a rental deposit back, the first rule is to keep a property clean and damage-free. Students should also make sure their landlord protects their deposit with an authorised scheme, agree an inventory at the time of renting and read the small print on the tenancy agreement. Other ways of keeping on top of finances include setting a budget and finding ways to manage bills with housemates to ensure they don’t end up out of pocket.”

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