Students are being urged to be “methodical and thorough” when it comes to dealing with landlords and tenancy agreements.

The advice has been issued by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) based in Hemel Hempstead,a Government-approved tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme, in response to a National Union of Students  report about student housing.

The organisation specialises in providing award-winning Insurance backed  and Custodial deposit protection. The main difference between the two schemes is that under a Custodial scheme the money is held by TDS, whereas under an Insurance backed  scheme the landlord can hold the money in their own bank account during the tenancy.

The National Union of Students (NUS) 2019 Homes Fit For Study report stated that just 61 per cent of surveyed students who paid a deposit said they had received it back in full at the end of their tenancy.

But Steve Harriott, Group Chief Executive at TDS, insists there are lots of steps that can be taken to ensure all the deposit is  returned when the rental agreement comes to an end.

He said: “We recognise that money is particularly tight for students and they rely on receiving their deposit back quickly. Unfortunately, the report has suggested this is not always happening.

“We highly recommend students read the inventory to their rental property when they move in. We recommend they are methodical and thorough, making comments along the way on the document where it does not reflect the contents, condition or cleanliness of the property. Throughout the tenancy any issues should be reported to the landlord or agency and a record must be kept.

“When the tenancy comes to an end, return the property with the same standard of cleanliness as there was when you moved in. All belongings and rubbish should have been completely removed and make sure everything is left where it was at the start of the tenancy so there are no disputes about missing items.”

In light of the report, the NUS is now calling for the government to start penalising landlords.

But, TDS said using their deposit services means students – or any renter – can take steps to ensure they are treated more fairly.

Steve added: “We urge students to raise a dispute (insured) or repayment request (custodial) with TDS at the end of the tenancy if they do not feel the landlord is proposing fair deductions, or the landlord is not responding to their requests at all.

“We offer free alternative dispute resolution where trained independent adjudicators will make a decision on disputes and take into account a number of factors such as fair wear and tear and the length of the tenancy when deciding if an award is justified, and if so, how much is reasonable.”

TDS is the only not-for-profit tenancy deposit scheme in the UK, which means it continuously invests surpluses into raising industry standards with excellent service levels, quicker call response times, user-friendly technology and faster tenancy dispute resolutions.