Nearly a third of rental deposit disputes are down to poor communication

Michael Lloyd

January 9, 2020

Nearly a third (30%) of disputes between tenants and landlords over returning the deposit was because of tenants not receiving any communication or explanation as to why they were not getting their deposit money back, Ome has found.

Disagreements over the perceived cleanliness of the property upon check out was the second most common cause for a dispute in 23% of cases, whilst damage to the property ranked third with 18%.

Other reasons for disputes included general redecoration, missing or replaced items and outstanding rent arrears or bills.

Matthew Hooker, co-founder of Ome, said: “The return of a deposit can often be a cause for an otherwise fantastic tenant-landlord relationship to sour and the stats show that the leading reason for this is poor or lack of communication.

“The sector is starting to provide solutions to these friction points and technology is helping to create a more transparent end of tenancy process.

“Ome, for example, will naturally see 30% of these disputes caused by landlords withholding cash without an explanation eradicated by providing a cashless deposit experience.

“We’ll also be pushing improved transparency and communication by pioneering the mandatory check in/check out reports.

“Through our research I’m confident that the industry is on the right path and choice, competition and improving technology is helping to raise standards and protect the interests of both tenant and landlord alike.”

The total number of disputes being submitted by tenants to Hamilton Fraser’s deposit protection scheme, mydeposits, has increased over the past three years.

However, the number of escalated disputes reaching the adjudication stage as a percentage of total disputes has fallen steadily year-on-year, down 2.6% in 2019 alone.


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