Concerning new figures released from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme reveals that deposit disputes are at their biggest level since records began.
The figures indicate that in 2015, year-on-year adjudications rose by 11% to 27,816. This was 2,787 more than in 2014. In the past five years, adjudications have jumped by 36%.
Further data from the TDS indicates that damage, cleaning and redecoration are the biggest reasons given for a deposit dispute. In cases given to the TDS during 2014-15, cleaning was highlighted in 58% of cases, with damage appearing in 52%.
The table below shows how the number of adjudications completed has risen over time:
Deposit disputes reach highest ever level
Jane Morris, Managing Director of PropertyLetByUs.com notes that, ‘these statistics are worrying and send a clear message to landlords and agents-this problem is not going away until they are better protected at the start, during and at the end of a tenancy agreement.’
‘It is vital that landlords and agents ensure they get all the paperwork right at the start and at the end of a new tenancy agreement. The reality is that some landlords are failing to put a letting contract in place, or they have very unfair clauses in the contract. Other landlords don’t conduct an adequate check-in and check-out, or don’t keep copies of correspondence with the tenant which could provide important evidence in a dispute,’ Morris continued.
Concluding, Morris said, ‘landlords are agents also have a thorough and detailed inventory which will enable both parties to be treated fairly and reasonably. This documentation will help resolve potential disputes and prevent them reaching the courts.’