We know that housing plays a really important role in your university life. Whether it's first-year halls accommodation or private housing in the local area, we want to ensure that you're getting the most out of your housing experience.
On this page, you'll find advice for a range of common issues. We give you top tips on how to find your ideal property, live happily, and make sure you know your rights when it comes to all things housing!
Whether you're looking for a group to join, on the hunt for someone to complete your group, or seeking a replacement housemate, it can be hard to find the right person. We've pulled together some handy resources to help you out!
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ULHS offers a range of services to assist and support students and staff who are looking for and living in private accommodation in London. All Royal Holloway students have free access to these services so make sure you check out what they can help you with.
WHAT IS DEPOSIT PROTECTION?
Before you move into a privately rented property, you will usually need to pay a security deposit of no more than five weeks’ rent to the landlord or estate agent. This is for the protection of the landlord to cover instances of rent arrears (if you fail to pay rent) or damage to the property.
You should get the full amount returned to you at the end of your tenancy, unless the landlord has reason to request deductions. Unfortunately, in most cases, some deductions are proposed, and they are often unfair.
If you are renting in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (the most common type of tenancy), your landlord must put your deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP) within 30 days of receiving it.
There are four schemes which are recognised and approved by the government: Deposit Protection Service (DPS) , mydeposits , Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and Reposit.
These schemes will make sure that you get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy, provided you have left the property in a good condition, and paid your rent and bills on time. They can also act as independent adjudicators if you cannot come to an agreement about deposit deductions at the end of the tenancy.
If you have issues with your landlord requesting unfair deductions from your deposit, or not returning it on time, then we will guide you through the process to get your deposit back.
CHECKING IF YOUR DEPOSIT PROTECTED
After your landlord has put your deposit into a TDP scheme, they should then provide you with written confirmation of the details of the scheme, including the amount that has been protected, and arrangements for the return of the deposit.
Most landlords and agents place this information in the deposit section of the tenancy agreement (contract). It is important to check all the details are correct when you receive this.
If you are renting as a group in a joint tenancy, you will usually pay a single deposit for the property, split equally between the tenants. This means your deposit will usually be protected as one whole single deposit, with one tenant named as the “lead/head tenant,” responsible for contacting the TDP scheme in the event of a dispute.
If you are unsure whether your deposit has been protected, you can search on each of the scheme websites to check.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY DEPOSIT IS NOT PROTECTED?
If you think that your deposit has not been put into a TDP, you should contact your landlord or agent as soon as possible to ask them why this is the case, and request that they protect it as soon as possible. We find that most landlords DO protect the deposits they receive, because if they don’t, tenants can take them to court for one to three times the value of the deposit.
If you are not provided with the correct deposit protection information, or find that your deposit was not properly protected, you can pursue legal action to get compensation. In this case, please contact us for support in taking these steps.
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