A student's guide to renting property in Scotland

  • Student Guide
  • 5 September 2013
A student's guide to renting

Tips on how to keep your tenancy smooth and your bank balance happy

Study the small print

It’s essential you know what your lease says. The parts to pay closest attention to are the reasons why you might lose your deposit – keep these in mind during your stay, and you’re more likely to get your full deposit back later.

Amend your inventory where necessary

Make sure your inventory is accurate. Note or take photos of any items that were already worn, marked or damaged. A scuff on the wall might not seem important, but if it’s not recorded in the inventory, it could end up costing you money. Make sure both you and your landlord sign and date the inventory and keep a copy each.

File all communication – and get it signed

If your landlord agrees to you repainting the hallway or throwing out a piece of furniture, get this agreement in writing – and make sure it’s signed and dated by the landlord or agent. When it’s time to repay the deposit, this proof will show you had permission to make changes to the property or its contents.

Ensure a deposit scheme is in place

When a landlord or letting agent takes a deposit from you, they must transfer the money to a tenancy deposit scheme. The scheme offers a free and independent service to settle disputes between you and your landlord if you disagree on the return of the deposit after you move out. If you pay a deposit and your landlord doesn’t transfer it to a scheme, you’re able to contact the Sheriff Court, who can order the landlord to pay you up to three times the amount of the deposit.

SafeDeposits Scotland is one of three tenancy deposit protection services in Scotland, but the only one that’s not-for-profit. Find out more at safedepositsscotland.com or @SafeDeposits.

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