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Agents reveal top reasons for tenancy disputes

A survey of some 600 agents and landlords by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme has revealed the most popular cause of deposit disputes in the rental sector.

Once again cleaning topped the list of most frequent reasons for end-of-tenancy disputes in 2020 and so far in 2021. 

No fewer than 64 per cent of respondents said they had raised a deposit dispute due to cleanliness issues in the property. This was despite 83 per cent specifically stating tenant cleaning obligations in their tenancy agreements.


The poll asked landlords and agents which rooms of the home suffered the most issues regarding cleanliness; 84 per cent of those surveyed reported that kitchens were the dirtiest room at check-out, closely followed by bathrooms.

Bedrooms, living rooms, appliances and windows were frequent offenders too.

Whilst less than half of property professionals do not actually carry out interim cleaning checks during the tenancy, three quarters made it standard practice to professionally clean their rental properties before the start of each tenancy, regardless of the cleanliness from the previous tenancy.

“We hope this information helps tenants to understand their obligations when they move out, and which rooms require deeper cleaning before they leave their rented property” explains TDS chief executive Steve Harriott.


“By putting in the extra effort, many tenants can avoid any of their deposit being deducted at the end of tenancy. It’s encouraging how many property professionals include specific points in their tenancy agreements regarding cleaning, and also the number that ensure professional cleaning happens as standard.” 

More details on the survey and deposit dispute can be found in the TDS annual review, here


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