Before you move any possessions in, take pictures of EVERYTHING. Focus on the flaws – anything which is broken, or imperfect, like marks on the walls, scuffs on the sofa, damage to furniture, or dirty seals around the kitchen or bathroom. Try and get the photos as high resolution as possible. When you’re done email the photographs to the landlord/agent as proof of how the house looked when you arrived.
Lots of landlords/agents will try to take money from your deposit at the end of the tenancy by arguing that you have mistreated the house. You’re not obligated to return the property in any better condition than you originally found it in, but lots of students struggle to prove what the house looked like they when moved in.
Every year Cardiff University students lose thousands of pounds from their deposits through ‘cleaning costs’ and other deductions – costs they say are unfair, but have difficulty fighting.