78% of withheld deposits are due to cleaning issues

cleaning materialsStatistics recently released by my|deposits showed that where a landlord retained part of a deposit, 78% did so to pay for cleaning issues after the tenant had left the rented property. Damage to property, furniture and carpets were other key reasons why tenants didn’t receive all of their money back.

Recent data from The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) has thrown up some interesting statistics in relation to deposit disputes. According to their statistics covering the period June through August 2011, 40% of disputes were a result of cleaning with the remaining 60% of deposit disputes resulting from actual damage to the property, 31% of those were due to redecoration.

Historically, landlords have performed badly at adjudication winning only 8% of cases outright. The statistics show that, to have any chance of winning in front of the adjudicators, landlords need to be much better prepared to be able to handle disputes involving damage and redecoration.

The figures could be improved hugely if landlords took a few simple precautions to ensure they have sufficient evidence as to the state of the property at the start of the tenancy and a record of the condition at the end so the differences are clearly discernible.

At the Video Inventory Agency, we believe there is no better way of recording the state of your property than with a professionally written inventory supported by comprehensive high definition video evidence.  If landlords used a service like ours we could see them reversing the current situation and winning 92% of cases instead of losing 92%. In fact, with over 5,000 inventories under our belt we have not had a single case go to adjudication, because as soon as the parties refer to the video evidence it inevitably helps decide the matter categorically there and then.

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