A new study has found that most people who have rented a property in the UK in the last five years haven’t been able to secure the return of their full discount after vacating. In what ought to be a timely reminder of the importance to tenants as well as landlords and letting agents of a property inventories, London removals company Kiwi Movers said that 52% of deposits over the last half-decade were either partially or fully withheld.
That is the equivalent of more than 400,000 deposits per year, with eight in every 10 tenants overall having some degree of trouble in getting back their deposit. The research revealed cleaning and minor repairs to be the most frequent justifications for withheld deposits. However, 28% of respondents said that their landlord delayed handing back their deposit, even though they didn’t make any deductions.
6% of those who said they had encountered difficulties with getting their landlord to return their deposit didn’t get any of their deposit back at all – the equivalent of 252,000 deposits being completely withheld since 2010. 46% only saw part of their deposit returned. Two in 10 respondents claimed to have had no problems in getting their deposit back, while 28% said they’d had a dispute with their landlord or letting agency, but nonetheless managed to get their deposit back in full.
London is where tenants are most susceptible to deposit disputes, with the equivalent of 11% of the capital’s residents failing to get a penny of their deposit back – almost twice as high a percentage as the survey average. The most likely tenants to lose their full deposit were those aged between 18 and 24 who were living with friends, rather than alone, with a partner or spouse or with people they didn’t know prior to their move.
Kiwi Movers director Regan McMillan said that tenants were increasingly hiring professional cleaners before checking out of a rental property in an attempt to combat landlords withholding part or all of their deposit, adding: “Our customers tell us they feel vulnerable unless they have paperwork to prove that they left the property in an acceptable state. Moving is stressful enough without having your deposit unfairly withheld.”
Such paperwork could be in the form of a property inventory of the standard that we provide here at Yellow Oak Inventories LTD. A comprehensive and impartial property inventory, carried out by a fully regulated and professional provider like Yellow Oak Inventories LTD isn’t merely of value to the landlord or letting agent, it also gives the tenant invaluable peace of mind when they come to check out.