These are for short-term residential lettings where the tenant pays a deposit to the landlord to keep on hold until the end of the tenancy. The landlord now legally has to hold this in an authorized scheme rather than keep it directly.
As local Birmingham end-of-tenancy cleaners, we see time and time again the matter of how to clean property being the main reason why landlords try to withhold paying back the deposit to a tenant at the end of the lease, whether this is a small apartment and say the city centre or jewellery quarter, or larger dwelling in say Harborne - the same pattern always emerges, and now the statistics can show this.
End of tenancy cleaning is the most contentious issue. Other less important ones include general damage to the premises, redecorating the flat or house, gardening tasks, and good old rent arrears.
A separate analysis by property management software providers Sage has seen a steady increase in disputes raised by tenants.
A property management agent's professional body also concluded that cleaning is by far the most significant cause of disputes between landlords and tenants.
These bodies state that tenants often say the cleanness of the property at the beginning of the tenancy was just not clear and that the agreement did not clarify what was expected of them.
Landlords must therefore offer a fuller inventory and schedule of condition clearly logging this and a diligent check-in and checkout process.
As a local end-of-tenancy cleaning company, we always help landlords and managing agents work alongside a good set of documents for a landlord or tenant to assess what needs to be cleaned.
The golden rule is that the tenant should only be expected to hand back the residential flat or house in the same condition as they took it with fair wear and allowed in between.
An extra detail to show this also helps, including photographs, video clips, and lengthy descriptions of items that may be already affected, such as stains on carpet marks on walls, and damaged furniture and upholstery.
But landlords and tenants must also sign this inventory right at the beginning of the tenancy. Also, ensure this covers all areas, including any storage cupboard, areas under the stairs, and even inside essential items like the oven, fridge, and freezer.
In terms of the statistics, then apparently, 88% of agents surveyed said that lack of good cleanliness and end-of-tenancy cleaning is the most common reason tenants don't receive their full deposit back.
However, back to the recent survey from my deposits, there is some overall good news regarding residential tenant deposits.
They say that these have, on average, reduced values in query and the total number of disputes over the last year or so.
The average amount disputed has fallen from £793 to £784 pounds in 2021, and the total number of disputes by 12% to 34,444 in 2021.
There is a general increase in deposits of 2.3% from the previous year to more than 4.5 million now in the country.
This totals over £4.6 billion in deposited money with an average of £1,005 per tenancy. But even though these deposit numbers are decreasing, cleaning is still a big issue.