ARLA has set out the main reasons why tenants don't get their deposits back in every case.
A survey of its members has revealed that some 88 per cent of letting agents say the main reason is because tenants leave the property dirty or messy.
Maintenance is the next key issue. Tenants are expected to maintain the property they’re renting; which includes keeping gardens in the same state they were in when they moved in.
However, 44 per cent of letting agents claim that lack of maintenance is another major reason why deposits are often held back.
The third most prominent reason is direct damage such as, for example, wall damage caused by posters and hanging pictures. This was revealed by 39 per cent of the letting agents who responded.
Some 31 pr cent cited unpaid rent. Bottom of the list - perhaps thankfully - was pest infestation, named by two per cent of agents.
Sally Lawson, ARLA Propertymark president, says tenants should be flagging up any damage or problems to agents when they check out, to avoid later disputes over the return of their deposits.