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Top tips for students on moving out and reclaiming your deposit

Boxes (Source - Carey Tilden, Flickr's that time of year again: the exams are over, the term is drawing to a close, and it's time to clean up, clear out, and claim that deposit back!

Everyone wants to claim their accommodation deposit back without hassle or prolonged haggling. Whether you're moving back to your parents for the summer or on to other student accommodation, you want the move to go as smoothly as possible.

Here at Capital Properties we also want everything to go smoothly and for students to get their deposits back without hassle. Unfortunately, sometimes tenants leave their properties in a poor condition meaning the landlord has no choice but to claim for cleaning, repairs or replacement furniture out of the deposit. Here are our tips for Cardiff students on making sure you get that deposit back:

1) Co-ordinate with your housemates

There’s nothing worse than waking up to find that the rest of your housemates have headed back home early, leaving you to do all the tidying and cleaning! Make sure you work together to find out who’s leaving when, and to make sure everyone does their fair share. Remember, when it comes to getting your deposit back, you’re all in it together!

2) Take your belongings with you

Yes, as obvious as it may sound, vast amounts of students leave unwanted items and discarded packaging, rubbish and clothes behind for the landlords to dispose of. This creates a lot of time-consuming work for your landlord and/or the next tenants. Be considerate, and  you shouldn’t have any problems with your deposit.

3) Check the inventory

When you moved in, there should have been an inventory taken of every item supplied at your rental accommodation. This will be checked when you move out, and you will be expected to be pay for any breakages or lost items. You may wish to replace these directly or to reimburse via the deposit fee. It’s a good idea to go through the inventory with the landlord or agent when you check out – if you’re worried about disputes, take photos for evidence!

4) Clean your property

We understand that some people show more willing than others with the household chores, so it’s a good idea to make a house pact and blitz that place together. Your rental accommodation must be clean on inspection by the landlord in order to obtain a successfully returned deposit.

5) Pay the bills and finalise accounts.

Remember to take final meter readings and to contact the utility providers with a forwarding address for final bills. When the holidays arrive, it might be tempting to leave boring stuff like sorting out bills until some unspecified future date. But even with the best intentions, it will just become a hassle to sort it out once you’ve gone your separate ways for the summer. Don’t leave bills unpaid or falling to responsibility of the landlord or incoming tenants to deal with. Bills are part of adult life – you’re a big boy or girl now, so deal with them!

6) Put your rubbish and recycling out to be collected before you go.

As usual, the Get It Out For Cardiff campaign is here to help you dispose of your stuff. There are extra waste and recycling collections Saturday 16th, 23rd and 30th of June in Heath, Roath and Gabalfa. There are also drop-off points where you can donate unwanted items to charity.

The council also has a service that will take away and dispose of larger items (such as unwanted or broken furniture). The British Heart Foundation will recycle good but unwanted furniture for you. Contact details for both can be found on the Cardiff Council website.

7) Deal with any disputes promptly

If your landlord decides to withhold some or all of your deposit, and you don’t think it’s fair, then you can get in touch with Cardiff Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) (you’ll need to book an appointment if it’s outside of term-time). You can also contact The Dispute Service to try to resolve the issue. Don’t leave it until after the summer – try to get everything sorted as quickly as possible.

If you’re coming back for another year of study, have a great break! If you’re graduating, best of luck with starting your career! Happy moving!

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