All the things you definitely shouldn’t do if you want your deposit back

Please give us our money back. Please.

Now that the end of the academic year has finally rolled around after what feels like an eternity, the time has come to start thinking about moving out of our student halls, flats, houses, and hovels.

Though many of us have effectively been moved out since Lancaster University announced that Summer Term would be online, most students have still been forced to pay for accommodation that they simply haven’t been able to use during lockdown.

Clearly, this feels like money down the drain for us. But there’s no use crying over spilt milk – “we move,” as the young people say. We move indeed. But we won’t be moving without getting our deposits back, thank you very much. So, in order to save everyone some heartache, and a little bit of cash, here’s our guide to the things you SHOULDN’T do if you want your deposit back.

Make a mess of the bathroom

Okay so in first year, we lost some of our deposit because someone in our shared accommodation decided that they were going to create a faecal Jackson Pollock-esque artwork in the communal bathroom cubicles. Without going into too much graphic detail, it happened after St. Patrick’s Day, so the anonymous flatmate had got royally hammered, sauntered home, and thought they’d open fire at the walls.

Our cleaners, who were absolute angels, were not happy at all. Nor was our college’s accommodation manager. That knocked off part of our deposits – it was charged to all of us, might we add, because the culprit didn’t come forward. Selfish sod.

Punch a hole in the wall

It goes without saying that punching a hole in your wall is not covered by your tenancy agreement’s “reasonable wear and tear” policy.

“Honestly mate, it was here when we moved in,” will not cut it when the landlord sends an inspector round. You could go Shawshank Redemption and attempt to cover it with a poster, but at the end of the day you’ll just end up having to pay for the damage anyway. There’s no redemption.

Though credit to you for possessing the sheer strength of will to give your wall a good Haymaker – we’re sure the wall had it coming.

Serenade the porters when they come and give you a noise warning

For clarity: this won’t stop you getting your deposit back, but you probably shouldn’t do it anyway.

In first year, one worry is that someone will call the porters on your flat, and then you’ll get a nice telling off, and a warning. You don’t want to piss off the porters, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones handling your mail, aren’t they? I don’t want my Amazon deliveries being tampered with.

“We move.”

Anyway, when the porters come to call (at some time around 4am) to ask you to quieten down, then we urge you not to dedicate the 1978 Grease hit “Summer Nights” to the porter. No, he will not be impressed, as these writers found out.

Block your sink

We won’t go into too much detail, but if you decide to follow in the footsteps of one of our first year flatmates, then you should probably sort it out before you leave your flat.

We’re not saying that our flatmate threw up so bad in his sink that it blocked up and then he flooded his room whilst trying to clear out the sink that he’d vomited in, but…

Yeah, that’s what he did. And then he proceeded to use our trusty Henry the Hoover to vacuum up some of the sick. To quote Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: oh, what a night.

But seriously, make sure your sink is unblocked before you leave your flat. Don’t be a goblin. Have a bit of respect for yourself.

Tape things to the ceiling

You know that part in the second Inbetweeners film, when Will gets his stuff taped to his ceiling? Yeah, it’s like that, except in Lancaster.

One student told us: “In first year’s boredom, me and my housemate got fed up of our friend leaving us for his girlfriend. He had a habit of leaving his door unlocked, so we sneaked into his townhouse and did a ‘prank.’

“Basically taping all his belongings to the ceiling. It went really well. It’s not as easy as it looks, but it only took about 15 minutes. He grilled us for about two months after because when he removed everything, the paint came with it.”

Was it justifiable? Loosely. Was it moral? No. Will it lose money from someone’s deposit? Most likely. Hotel? Trivago.

Leave food in the fridge

Firstly, we’ll apologise for that image. Secondly, why were apples in the fridge?

But yes. If you’re a dirty little fiend who leaves things to rot then you will indeed go to Hell, we’ve been assured.

It’s dirty, it’s grim, and even Satan wouldn’t have done that.

Burn your hob

The people who can burn their hob are the type of students who would find a way to drown a fish. We’ve all lived with them. Very little common sense, and with the personality that only a mother could love. They’re probably loud, a bit oafish, and at first you thought they were alright. They aren’t. They’re dirty, dirty, dirty.

There’s a difference between “just a few crumbs” and this monstrosity. Behold: the burnt hob

Whatever this guy did

Another student told the Tab Lancaster: “Basically, it was my mate’s birthday so we went on a night out and got REALLY drunk, when the nightclub closed, we decided to go back up to his flat and drink more so it took him 20 mins to unlock the door and as soon as it opened, he fell in with his mate piling on top.

“Anyways, he wasn’t feeling well so he went to the bathroom, I went in to check he was alright and gave him some Pringles and then we left him for two minutes, in which time he managed to shit EVERYWHERE so we told him to shower… When he finished showering, he forgot to put clothes on and ran through his flat bollock naked so then we went to assess the damage…

“His clothes were in the toilet and the shit had been pushed into a corner, so I went to wash my hands and the sink kept backing up… the Pringles were in the plug! It took three of us four hours to clean and disinfect that bathroom.”

Generic hooliganism

Another Lancs student reeled off the ways in which she and her flatmates had endeavoured to ensure their flat was uninhabitable for their successors: “when we came back from glitter night at sugar then did gymnastics in the corridor and got glitter buried too deep in the fibres for Henry hoover to suck up.”

“We nearly set fire to the kitchen because nobody cleaned the fat out the oven.

“The fairy lights leaked battery acid all over the window sill. Plus, someone’s boyfriend spilt Pot Noodle on the wall. And some marks on the wall because we played real life Fruit Ninja. It’s not looking good, basically.”

Let’s be honest, regardless of whether you’ve done any of these things or not, your landlord is probably going to try and keep hold of your deposit, so for any actual advice on getting that money back, click here.

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