Letting agents are being reminded of the importance of independent and professionally compiled inventories for individual students as they start or return to college and university in the next few weeks.
The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says some 416,310 new students have gained places on university courses for the upcoming academic year, according to admissions service Ucas; separately, research shows that student accommodation can enjoy average yields of up to 12 per cent.
"Student lets are different to traditional lets for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are usually only for the duration of the academic year so landlords can expect a higher turnover of tenants. This means it can be more difficult to keep up with the contents of the property and any damage that has taken place - this is where inventories become invaluable" notes AIIC joint chair Danny Zane.
"There are also often multiple deposits per property to think about as students commonly share with friends" he adds.
The AIIC also points out that for many tenants, their university years will represent their first experience of private renting.
"It's beneficial for agents and landlords to acknowledge this and explain the importance and workings of inventories, deposits and other key parts of the rental process" says Zane.
The association says that the issue is complicated by student rental properties often being empty for substantial holiday periods and having less predictable void periods.
An independent and unbiased inventory details the condition of the property at the beginning and end of the tenancy, helping to ensure a fair move-in/move-out process for all parties, says the association.
If a formal dispute does occur, deposit protection schemes are likely to look more favourably on inventories and check-out reports that have been produced impartially by an independent inventory clerk.