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Agency hands over £865 after students win deposit court case

A group of students in Bristol has won a court case after a lettings agency acting for a landlord deducted money from their rental deposit.

The Independent reports that six student flatmates received a letter from Digs letting agency informing them a total of £756 would be deducted from the deposit, including £200 for redecoration and over £500 for cleaning costs.

However, one of the students provided photographic evidence suggesting the apartment was left by them in a better state than when they moved in - and the same student discovered only some of the promised redecoration had been completed.

The Independent says the students also questioned charges for rubbish removal and mattress covers, for which Digs agency could not provide receipts.

The student told The Independent that others following in his footsteps should take photographs of the property condition, and use only student union-approved letting agencies if possible.

Steven Harris, managing director of Digs, is quoted as saying: “We’re extremely disappointed that the deductions charged to Ed Straw and his fellow tenants led to him taking the landlord to court, and in all instances we work towards a more amicable solution. Whilst the court system is there to be used Digs hope that their tenants do not feel the need to go down this route. Having managed 8,000 tenancies in total it is the first time this has happened and we firmly believe it will be the last.

National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia has pledged her support for a series of rent strikes going on in some locations across the UK; she also condemned what she called “extortionate fees” levied on some students.

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