Cleaning and property damage are the most common reasons landlords make deposit deductions, according to data released by The Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
Over the last year, some 63% of landlords entering the DPS' Dispute Resolution Service cited cleaning amongst their reasons for claiming a deposit deduction.
This was followed by damage to property contents (53%), redecoration (37%), rent arrears (23%), gardening (16%), missing items (16%) and outstanding bills (4%).
"Many of the problems that lead to deductions can be avoided when both tenant and landlord are aware of their responsibilities and stay in regular communication throughout the tenancy," says Julian Foster, managing director at the DPS.
"Around 98% of tenancies end without any dispute between landlord and tenant over the deposit, but in the rare occasions they cannot agree, access to a free, impartial dispute resolution process helps ensure that everyone is treated fairly."
The deposit protection scheme's head of adjudication, Alexandra Coghlan-Forbes, has also revealed the top five cleaning tasks landlords undertake once tenants have left the property.
The most common cleaning job is ovens. "I’m always amazed how many tenants have lived in a property for maybe a year or so but say they have 'never' used the ovens," says Coghlan-Forbes.
Next up is extractors - tenants not cleaning them or replacing filters is a very common issue according to the DPS.
Toilets are the third most common cleaning task at the end of a tenancy. "The photos I’ve seen could turn your stomach!" says the adjudication chief.
The top five is made up by kitchen sinks - mainly dirt and discolouration that builds up over time - and skirting boards and light switches which, according to Coghlan-Forbs, just often seem to get overlooked.