While there are many reasons why a landlord and tenant might disagree, the cleanliness of the rental property is likely to be the most common factor.

Some of the leading disagreements between landlords and tenants include rental fee arrears, redecorating issues, property damage and garden or exterior matters. However, the most common form of complaint relates to the cleanliness and condition of the property.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we are aware of this, and we work hard to bring landlords and tenants together. We impress on all parties the need to work together to create a suitable outcome.

A clean rental property keeps everyone happy

While it is clear why landlords want a clean rental property, tenants should always have their deposit in mind. Keeping the rental property in great condition is a great way to enhance your chances of receiving your full deposit back at the end of the tenancy.

Information provided by The Dispute Service (TDS), taken from their Annual Review 2020, indicates cleaning is the most common reason for tenancy deposit dispute claims. Other reasons include damage to the property, cost of redecorating the property, rent arrears and gardening issues, but cleaning was the leading issue.

Cleaning resulted in the following percentages of claims against different branches of The Dispute Service:

  • 42% of claims made against TDS Insured
  • 53% of claims made against TDS Custodial
  • 45% of claims made against TDS Northern Ireland
  • 69% of claims made against SafeDesposit Scotland

Tenants are raising disputes against landlords

There has also been an increase in the proportion of disputes cited by tenants. In the 2018=19 review, this was at 67%, but in 2019-20, this had risen to 74%.

Paul Oxley, Managing Director of lettings management software company Decorus for Sage, said: “According to the TDS, many tenants claim that the cleanliness of the property at the start of the tenancy was not clear, or that the tenancy agreement did not make clear what was expected of them. So, it is vital that landlords have a proper inventory prepared and do a thorough check-in and check-out, so they have the right proof of condition at the start and end of a new tenancy agreement. When landlords take the time to spell out tenants’ responsibilities in terms of cleaning and caring for the property, tenants are more likely to conduct their tenancy in a way that is respectful to the property and this minimises any potential damage.”

Paul Oxley also said; “At the check-out stage, the tenant should be made aware of the areas requiring cleaning and the potential cost involved. It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear. Landlords should conduct thorough check-in and check-outs at the start and end of the tenancy, supported by a professional inventory. Clear communication on the tenant’s responsibilities when they move into the property will improve the chances of a trouble-free check-out.”

Inventories benefit landlords and tenants

There is no denying that a reliable inventory check, carried out at the start of the tenancy, benefits both the landlord and tenants. This document should act as the benchmark for what is expected in the property, which should provide comfort and support for all parties.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a dependable inventory check, or you want to ensure your next lets start off in the correct manner, please get in touch with Just Lets Peterborough.

Paul Oxley continues: “The common mistakes in landlord inventories are essentially lack of detail. Landlords often write just a brief shopping list and often do not have the appropriate photographs and videos, along with accompanying written descriptions to show the condition of the property and its contents.”

Paul concluded by saying; “If the landlord finds the tenant fails to agree to the deposit deductions, they need to ensure they have the evidence such as a thorough and fully detailed inventory, copies of which are given to the tenant at check-in and check-out. It is imperative that tenants sign their acceptance of the contents of the check-in within seven days of the move in, and this signed copy should be retained by either the landlord or the landlord’s agent.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

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