Tenant deposit values and disputes on the rise

Tenant deposit values and disputes on the rise

0:03 AM, 9th October 2023, About 8 months ago 3

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The UK’s private rented sector (PRS) has seen a significant increase in both the number and value of deposits protected by tenancy deposit schemes in 2022-23, according to the latest briefing by TDS Group.

The report compiles data from various sources, such as Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As a result, it provides a comprehensive overview of the PRS, covering aspects such as deposit values, dispute causes, adjudication outcomes and more.

Landlord-tenant disputes

The head of policy and research at TDS Group, Dr Jennifer Harris, said: “By providing the only free national ADR services specifically designed for landlord-tenant disputes, tenancy deposit protection schemes play a crucial role in assisting landlords and tenants to resolve disagreements without having to resort to costly court action.

“The number of disputes resolved by these schemes in 2022-23 clearly demonstrates their value.”

She added: “Across the UK, in 2022-23 the schemes resolved over 40,000 deposit disputes.

“These cases would have put significant pressure on already over-stretched court systems.”

Number of deposits protected by tenancy deposit schemes

The TDS report also reveals that the number of deposits protected by tenancy deposit schemes in England and Wales grew by 5% from the previous year, reaching 4,685,417 by the end of March 2023.

The total value of these deposits also increased by 8%, to £4,905,089,207.

Similarly, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the number and value of deposits protected by tenancy deposit schemes rose by 5% and 3%, respectively.

In Scotland, there were 259,779 deposits protected, worth £193,701,485.

In Northern Ireland, there were 67,197 deposits protected, worth £46,774,577.

Adjudications issued by the three tenancy deposit schemes

The report also shows that the number of adjudications issued by the three tenancy deposit schemes in England and Wales increased by 6,912 from the previous year, reaching 36,609 in 2022-23.

However, in Northern Ireland, there was a 6% drop in the number of disputes recorded, with 460 disputes in total.

The report notes that disputes are raised in fewer than 1% of tenancy deposits protected.

The main reasons for deposit disputes are consistent across the UK, with cleaning being the number one reason.

Damage to fixtures and fittings remains the second-highest reason for disputes.

Steve Harriott, the chief executive at TDS, said: “It all points to the importance of landlords/agents having good check-in inventory reports and check-out reports, as these will provide clear evidence to support any cleaning or damage claims.

“For rent arrears disputes, we need to see the rent account statements to confirm that rent is owing.”

The full report can be accessed on the TDS Group website.


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Comments

Teessider

9:51 AM, 9th October 2023, About 8 months ago

I prefer not to take deposits.

With less than 1% of protected deposits resulting in a dispute, it is clear that more than 99% of deposits are not necessary and the cost of the system is disproportionate to the risks involved. Five weeks rent is unlikely to cover the landlord’s losses.

I’d rely on MCOL for any out of pockets expenses that I deem should be paid by the tenant. In practise, I probably wouldn’t bother chasing the costs. I’d just tidy the house and re-let (although, for the first time in more than twenty years, I’d probably sell rather than re-let).

Ian Narbeth

10:19 AM, 9th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Teessider at 09/10/2023 - 09:51
Where do you get the 1% figure?

Our experience with HMOs (over 300 deposits in 10 years) is that deposits concentrate the tenant's mind on looking after the property. We have recourse to the deposit substantially more than half the time though often a claim is for a small charge for cleaning or apportioned rent.

Yellard

13:16 PM, 11th October 2023, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Teessider at 09/10/2023 - 09:51
Yes, we all have to consider the ongoing madness of anti LL government legislation as to whether to stay landlords.

The abolishment of fixed term tenancies being particularly dangerous.. Who want the inevitable confrontational nature of eviction for anti social behavior..? And I note that I will under the proposed legislation be able to evict to house the adopted daughter of my sibling.. What if my neice changes her mind at the last minute and dosen't move in? What if I want to upgrade the property and the tenant insists they don't need to cook or even bath while the work goes on("I go gym daily"). Builders don't want to work around tenants.. And all the caveats in the Rent Reform Bill that will require an army of enforcement bureaucrats. The government should just make all periodic tenancies two years. It could encourage assured tenancies by taxing Shortholds higher.. Most small landlords will /would pay the tax. Such tax being self enforcing by being in the form of a licence obtained from the Post Office or via online and attached to the Shortholds Tenancy agreement. I urge everyone to write to their MP regarding thr madness of abolishing fixed term tenancies.

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