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Graham Awards


Revealed - the biggest cause of claims by landlords against deposits

Just over half the claims made by landlords against tenancy deposits in 2020 cited a need to clean or make repairs to the property or its contents, The Deposit Protection Service has revealed.

Costs for damage made up 27 per cent of claims, while cleaning was cited in 25 per cent and outstanding bills in just two per cent.

DPS managing director Matt Trevett says: “It can be very frustrating for both parties when a landlord feels they need to charge a tenant for problems that could have been addressed before they left the property.


“We always encourage landlords and tenants to stay in touch throughout the tenancy so everyone understands their obligations and can work together to find solutions before a tenancy ends.

“This includes an awareness of the standard to which a property must be cleaned when tenants vacate as well as the need to address any damage or wear and tear beyond what you might reasonably expect to have occurred during a normal tenancy of its length.”

Figures for 2020 from the DPS’s dispute resolution service show landlords who entered dispute were awarded at least some of their claim in 75 per cent of cases, with tenants awarded at least part of the amount claimed in 80 per cent of cases.

The DPS adds that around £4m of deposit money had gone to landlords through its resolution service process during 2020, although just three per cent of all tenancies had ended in dispute.

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    So the deposit against damage by the tenant was upheld in 75% of the landlords claims and yet 80% in the counter claims by the tenants!
    Seems as I have always found cleaning and damage is not fairly considered by the DPS. So simple to clean and repair before the end of the tenancy but if the outgoing tenant is going to be let off the hook seems very unreasonable to the landlord to me.
    Anyone else agrees?

    Matthew Payne

    The DPS is very heavily tenant centric. Their starting point is they are going to give all the deposit back to the tenant, unless a landlord produces a smoking gun with signed confession.

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    Always get a home owning guarantor as this runs independent of the DPS. They have no jurisdiction.

    Send the bill to the guarantor first & explain they will get paid by the reclaimed deposit nonsense once you the LL have been settled.

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    I have got to say I cannot understand what all the current whining is about. As a landlord I always go in and clean and tidy the property for the next tenants. As long as the property is not ‘trashed’ beyond reasonable usage, it is the landlords’ asset and therefore their responsibility as a business to ensure their property is ready for the next tenants, especially in these COVID-19 times. Tenants have not benefited from the asset beyond the time of their residence. I think landlords should have more respect for tenants as they are the ones maintaining the landlords’ asset whilst they benefit from any uplift in the property value. Too many landlords believe they are doing the tenant a favour when actually if their asset was not tenanted they most probably would not have it. You don’t find any other business asking the clientele to clean and decorate ready for the next client before they leave. It’s not just all about collecting money. Landlords have a responsibility to their own asset. I’ve seen some tenancies requiring tenants to redecorate, clean windows inside and out, professional cleaning when none of this was done before the tenant moved in. Usually those managed by estate agents or managing agents which presumably the landlord is paying for. It’s your asset. The only responsibilities for tenants should be to pay the rent in a timely fashion, maintain their home in a normal standard, repair or pay for any damage they cause and leave it broom swept and free from clutter upon leaving. Anything else ought to be the landlord’s proud responsibility to welcome their new tenants.


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