First-time renters: take note of these tips from Screwfix if you want to save money, make life easier for yourself and protect that all-important tenancy deposit.
Enrolling at university is an exciting time in many young peoples’ lives. It gives you your first taste of independence and provides plenty of opportunities to make new friends, party and have loads of fresh experiences. 
 
Though becoming more independent can be exhilarating, there are certain milestones that need to be navigated along the way. 
 
Renting your first ever property is one such milestone, and it is an experience that can be fraught with anxiety. 
 
Whether you are sharing a property with a group of mates or going it alone, your concerns are likely common ones. 
 
If you’re worried about whether or not you will get your deposit back, you are not alone. 
 
Most contracts dictate that the property you rent must be returned in the same condition it was let, with a clause allowing for ‘fair wear and tear’. 
 
As reasonable as this sounds, not all landlords interpret this equally which can leave renters, especially first-timers, open to vulnerability. 
 
Let us guide you through the best products to invest in, and some tips for keeping your costs down throughout your tenancy term and safeguarding your deposit. 
 

Safe, not sorry
Whether it’s cold, hard cash or a small number of sentimental belongings you’d prefer to keep ultra-secure, investing in a home safe is probably a good idea if your personal space doesn’t have a door lock, no matter how much you trust your housemates. 

The good news is you don’t need to break the bank to keep your fortune safe. This electronic home safe has a generous capacity and even comes with a digital code input, satisfying all your gadget-centric desires.
 

Fill us in
If you have been overenthusiastic with your hammer or drill during your tenancy, you can restore your landlord’s walls to their former glory with some all-purpose filler

Simply apply this ready-mixed paste over any holes you’ve made in the plasterwork or skirting boards and gently sand back when dry. 

This covers a multitude of sins and should earn you the favour of your landlord and housemates alike.
 

Don’t duct out
As everyone knows, if it can’t be fixed with duct tape then you’re not using enough duct tape. This versatile and robust tape is legendary for its usefulness, and it can be used to make minor repairs both outdoors and in the home.  

More inventive recommendations include using duct tape to keep a secret key fixed to the undercarriage of your car, or for catching flies, though one airline passenger was recently horrified to witness an engineer using it on a join in an airplane’s turbine casing. We feel a line may have been crossed.
 

Fix up, look sharp
Although it may sound obvious, simply keeping on top of cleaning throughout the year is one of the best ways of safeguarding your tenancy deposit. 

There may always seem to be good a reason not to clean, from a deadline to a must-attend party to ‘I did it last time’, but it definitely helps not to have to tackle a whole year’s worth of grime two days before you move out. 

Get the property looking good at least a month before you move out and invite your landlord around for a preliminary inspection. 

They can use this as an opportunity to point out anything that they are unhappy with, giving you a chance to put it right.

Following these tips should minimise the chance of you and your housemates losing your deposit. Treat the place with respect, try to party elsewhere whenever possible, and remember to educate yourself about your rights. 

As a last resort and in instances where you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, you have the option of taking your landlord to the Private Residential Tenancies Board

Here, both parties submit evidence and you may well win back some of your deposit money if you can build a strong enough case in your favour. 

For part 1 of our student's guide to spending, saving cash, and getting your deposit back, just click here.

Need to fix up your house? With Campus.ie students can avail of a 10% discount when shopping in Screwfix's online store.