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Tenancy deposit disputes: Our 6 top tips to avoid them

Tenancy deposit disputes: Our 6 top tips to avoid them

A tenancy deposit dispute can arise for many different reasons including unpaid rent, damage to the property, overgrown gardens and, most common of all, poor or no cleaning at the end of the tenancy.

If an agreement is unable to be reached between the tenant and landlord, the landlord will likely raise a claim to deduct money from a tenant’s deposit to address/remedy the situation through an approved tenancy deposit scheme, where an adjudicator will assess the facts by reviewing the evidence from each party.

Fortunately, in the majority of cases, a resolution can be reached without the involvement of an adjudicator and a dispute can be promptly resolved between the parties.

But what are the key points that can help avoid a lengthy dispute?

1. Good communication between the parties throughout the tenancy process is really important.

2. A detailed/dated schedule of condition and inventory at the start of the tenancy and a thorough check-out report at the end of the tenancy. Detailed evidence is needed to support any claim.

3. It's essential that all evidence is clear and easy for all to understand and interpret.

4. If changes are agreed during a tenancy, ensure that these are recorded and agreed in writing, including the expectation of the parties at the end of the tenancy.

5. Keep a log of any mid-term property visits and, if any issues occur, make the tenant aware at the time rather than leaving it until the end.

6. If rent arrears are an issue, it is important to have rental statements to support the arrears, along with a clear audit trail of any agreements reached between the parties during the tenancy.

At Stags, our Full Management and Premium Full Management services take care of all of the above from the start, registering the deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), compiling a full schedule of condition and inventory with photographs, carrying out mid-term inspections and providing detailed reports during the tenancy, plus a thorough, comprehensive check-out when the tenant vacates. During the tenancy, Stags is the point of contact for both parties and will deal with any issues that may arise, keeping an accurate record of all events during the tenancy to give you reassurance should a dispute occur.

The above has resulted in less than 1% of all of Stags’ tenancies ending in a dispute that required adjudication by a third party.

If you would like to know more about our letting services or discuss a deposit issue you are experiencing, contact your local office today.