Over the last few weeks, the Advice Centre has seen cases of students who have overpaid for their deposit fee. This fee was recently restricted because landlords and agents were using it to tie prospective tenants into tenancies before signing, meaning they had too much money to lose if they changed their minds.
Most people don’t realise, but the Tenant Fees Ban (June 2019) also restricted how much agents and landlords can charge as a holding deposit. This is usually the first amount of money paid to take the property off the market and reserve it for you until you sign. This fee can no longer be more than the equivalent of one week of rent (locally about £100-120 per person in a shared house).
If you’ve paid significantly more than this, we recommend that you come to one of our Housing drop-ins at the Advice Centre during term-time on Tuesdays between 1-4pm. We can check your contract and the fees you’ve been charged, to make sure that you’ve been treated fairly.
If we spot something wrong, you’ll have access to free legal advice to help you put things right going forward.
As a rule, we recommend that you get your contract checked by us, even if you’ve already signed it, so we can give you feedback in plain English. After you get your contract checked, you’ll know what to do to set up your utilities, how to deal with disrepair and how to get your deposit back. This knowledge will save you lots of money and ensure that your landlord takes your rights as a tenant seriously.
If you've already looked through our web pages and you can't find the information you're after, or if you'd prefer to discuss something face-to-face, just get in touch with us:
The Advice Centre is upstairs in the SU.
Registered charity no: 1141998
The Students’ Union, Royal Holloway
Egham, TW20 0EX