Landlord News

Small Number of Tenancies End in Tenant Deposit Disputes

Em Morley - July 1, 2014

Tenant Deposit Disputes

Recent figures from one of the U.K’s rental deposit schemes showed positive news on tenancy deposit disputes. The figures suggest that only a fraction of tenancy agreements end in disputes over deposits.

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) stated that a mere 8,495 out of a total 1, 105,619[1] tenancies ended with its adjudication service having to be used. These totals work out at a percentage of just 0.81%.


For all tenancy agreements which ended going through a full dispute process, the figures from DPS make interesting reading. Over half (54.7%) of deposits disputed through DPS were split equally between landlord and tenant. Almost 27% of deposits were refunded in full to tenants. The figures show that only 18.5% of deposits returned by DPS were paid to the landlord or letting agent.

Tenant Deposit Disputes

Tenant Deposit Disputes

Common disputes

DPS states that the most common dispute derives from alleged property damage. Other common reasons for a dispute are cleaning (or lack of) and the need for redecoration. Less common requests released in the DPS findings include a dispute over the removal of cockroaches.

Dispute warning

DPS director Kelvin Firth issued a warning on the back of the report findings. Firth warns that landlords and agents were similarly as worried as tenants about having a disruptive tenancy agreement. ‘Tenants as well as landlords should be warned,’ Firth said, that they cannot simply, ‘fail to fulfill tenancy conditions’ and then, ‘look for a deposit pay out.’