United Kingdom
September 2021
PayProp Rent Report

Deposit dispute numbers revealed

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The Tenancy Deposit Scheme has released its annual figures on end-of-tenancy disputes, and it’s good news for landlords and tenants.

According to the TDS, just 26,907 tenancies ended in a dispute in 2020-21, down from almost 35,000 the year before. Just 0.7% ended in a dispute, around 1 in 140 – the lowest percentage since 2009. 

This was in part because fewer tenancies ended during the pandemic as tenants stayed put.

As usual, the biggest cause of deposit disputes was cleaning. Cleaning issues caused 42% of disputes in Northern Ireland, 49% of disputes in England, and a whopping 70% in Scotland. 

Since the 2019 Tenant Fees Act, landlords can’t require tenants to have properties professionally cleaned at the end of a tenancy. They can only require the property to be cleaned to a professional standard and must allow for fair wear and tear – leaving the door open for disputes when landlords and tenants interpret those standards differently. 

Around 40% of disputes concerned damage to the property across all three areas, while around a quarter were over redecoration. Unpaid rent made up a smaller proportion, except in Northern Ireland where 26% of disputes involved arrears.

Other financial headlines

Agents should aim for 50% profit margins, says ex-ARLA chief – Letting Agent Today

Chancellor urged to encourage investment in PRS – Property Industry Eye

Savills predicts 1.75 million build to rent properties by 2031 – The Negotiator

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