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Most tenants don't get back full deposit - survey

The majority of private sector tenants who have rented a property in the past five years have failed to get their full deposit back after vacating, new research reveals.

A survey of 1,034 people earlier this year revealed that 52 per cent of deposits were fully or partially withheld over the past five years, equivalent to more than 400,000 deposits per year based on official estimates of the rental population.

Some 80 per cent of tenants reported having some degree of trouble getting their deposit back.

Cleaning and minor repairs are the most common reasons for withheld deposits, while over a quarter of tenants claimed their agent or landlord delayed returning their deposit despite not making any deductions.

Only 20 per cent say they got their full deposit back without any problems while over a quarter say they managed to get their deposit back in full only after a dispute with the landlord or letting agency.

Unsurprisingly, London tenants were the ones least likely to get their full deposit returned.

The survey was conducted on behalf of removal firm Kiwi Movers.

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