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Scotland’s most responsible student tenants unveiled

Students may work hard, but many also party hard, which is largely why they have a reputation for being bad tenants.

Binge-drinking students are not renowned for being the most house proud but, for the first time, it has been revealed which Scottish universities have the most responsible student tenants, based on deductions from their tenancy deposits.

The study, undertaken by SafeDeposits Scotland, found that students at the University of Abertay in Dundee are the most responsible, with an average deduction from students in the last year of £45.00.

At the other end of the scale, the average deduction from students at the University of St Andrews last year was £262.80.

Although St Andrews students had the highest average deduction, when you look at damage to properties, they came out the most responsible with only 10% of deposits seeing a deduction due to damage.

Students renting in Glasgow came out on top in Scotland when it comes to getting the property spotless for the next tenant, with just 28% of deductions made for cleaning charges.

Unfortunately for student landlords in Stirling, student tenants in the city have been revealed as the messiest with almost half - 45% - of deductions being sought from deposits for cleaning – the highest proportion in the country.

In the last year, SafeDeposits Scotland saw £1.8m of deposits being returned to student tenants. However, it was necessary for £345,754 to be retained from students’ deposits by landlords.

As SafeDeposits Scotland holds around 60% of the market share in Scotland, the organisation estimates that a total of £576,260 is lost annually by students through not looking after their rental properties.

Victoria Smith, chief operating officer at SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “It’s interesting to see the reasons for landlords across the country making deductions and gaining an insight into how students live – some simple changes can avoid considerable deductions, putting their money back in their pockets.

“With the end of term upon us with a summer of travelling or work awaiting, deposits might be the last thing on students’ minds but in theory, students should have their full deposit returned if they look after the property and return it in the same state that they found it.

“To avoid doubt, students should look back at the check-in report and compare it to the state of the property at the end of the tenancy. It details the state and cleanliness of the accommodation. It’s important to check that the report is accurate at the outset of a tenancy, as the landlord or agent will use this as the basis on which they inspect the flat when the lease ends.

“The number of tenancies that run smoothly, with the full deposit returned, falls short of half [45%] showing that many students are aware of the requirements within their tenancy agreement. For the remaining 55%, the nature of student life or lack of knowledge that comes with leaving home for the first time means that avoidable deductions are incurred at the end of the lease - if tenants expect their deposit back in full, they have access to SafeDeposits Scotland’s independent adjudication service to find an amicable resolution.”

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