The number of disputes between landlords and tenants is continuing to increase, according to Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS).

What are the disputes about?

The most common dispute between landlords and tenants is cleaning. 57 per cent of cases brought to TSD in 2015-2016 were caused by cleaning, a large percentage but down one per cent on the previous year.

When tenants vacate a property, contracts most commonly state the standard that the property should be left in.  However, it appears that the agreement between the landlord on tenant on what is deemed clean seems to regularly be debated.

The second most common cause of disputes is damage to property (51 per cent), followed by redecoration (32 per cent) and gardening (16 per cent). The area that saw the largest rise in disputes was rent arrears, climbing to 19 per cent from 10 per cent the previous year.

Overall, with rising rent arrears alongside damaged and unclean properties, landlords are facing challenging times.

Landlord protection from disputes

A complete property inventory helps to protect landlords from costly disputes with tenants. By having an inventory, landlords’ claims and beliefs can be backed up with evidence.

With cleaning costs seeming to be particularly common, if landlords plan on deducting costs from a deposit, they need evidence that there was a change in condition from the start to the end of a tenancy. This would warrant a deduction.

Disputes can range in cost from a small fee to amounts that will truly impact your income as a landlord. In the survey, the least expensive claim was for a broken wine glass at £10 and the most expensive claim reached £18,250.

Check-in reports

It’s also important to make regular inspections to your properties. Check in on their condition and raise any issues that may be present with the tenant. By not doing so you could be left with some surprises when the tenant decides to leave.

Skribes are Birmingham’s leading independent inventory and property services specialists, providing landlords with inventory reports, check-in reports, interim reports, check-out reports and legionella reports.

To find out how we can help make it easier to manage your property, call us today on 07891 551 905 or email