Student renters may be messy but are worth the risk, according to the results of a new survey which dispels some myths around the sector.

A Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) poll of agents and landlords found that 88% have had to raise a deposit deduction at the end of a tenancy. Of those, 48% claimed for damage to property, 36% made a claim for cleaning, 9% deducted for redecoration and 7% experienced rent arrears. However, despite the high percentage of deductions, 60% of those quizzed believed that in general, students took good care of their rental property and 86% would continue to let to students in the future.

Constant redecorating

Of those who did not rent to students, reasons given included: the risk of too much potential damage, potentially causing a problem with neighbours, preference for more reliable professionals in their property, worried about constant redecorating, a belief that students tend to be unclean and irresponsible, hold too many late-night parties and cause elements of anti-social behaviour.

Sandy Bastin, TDS head of adjudication services, says the common concerns about renting to students are valid to some extent, with cleaning topping the deposit deduction claims, but adds that its survey found no antisocial reasons for disputes, no issues with neighbours, and only a small percentage of redecoration claims.

Mid-tenancy inspections

“Positively, our poll observed that over three-quarters of landlords and agents perform mid-tenancy inspections,” she says. “TDS encourages property professionals to conduct regular inspections and include them within your tenancy agreement. Similarly, over half of agents and landlords polled confirmed that they attended the check-in/check-out with the tenants present.”

TDS advises that detailed inventories and check-in/check-out reports are vital to managing the property, navigating a successful end of tenancy and avoiding the chance of deposit disputes.

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