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.
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