Figures produced by one of the country’s three rental deposit schemes shows that only a tiny number of tenancies appear to end in deposit disputes.
The Deposit Protection Service recorded only 8,945 out of 1,105,619 tenancies – equivalent to 0.81% – needing to use its’ adjudication service at the end of a tenancy. This compared to 1.02% and 0.87% for the other two providers, Mydeposits and TDS.
DPS says the most common reason for a dispute is alleged property damage, with cleaning and redecoration requirements close behind – though there are sometimes more bizarre claims, such as for removal of cockroaches and repairs to a garden after a tenant had dug up a dead dog.
At the end of the dispute process, the figures show that DPS returned 18.5% of deposits in full to the landlord or letting agent. Some 54.7% of DPS’s disputed deposits were split between both landlord and tenant and 26.8% were refunded in full to tenants.
“Landlords and lettings agents are as worried by bad tenants as tenants are by bad landlords and letting agents. As long as a claim is substantiated with conclusive evidence, tenants as well as landlords should be warned – they can’t expect to default on rent, cause damage to properties or fail to fulfil tenancy conditions and then look for a deposit pay out,” warns DPS director Kevin Firth.