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Happy days? Tenancy disputes reduce during Covid, says TDS

Fewer people moving home and government support for renters are likely reasons behind substantial drop in disputes.

Nigel Lewis

tds-2021-harriot tenancy disputes

The pandemic has had changed the private rental market in many ways, but one positive impact is that the number of tenancy disputes between renters and their landlord or agent has reduced.

TDS says 0.7% or 26,907 of tenancies resulted in a dispute during the 2020/2021 pandemic months, down from 0.85% or 34,993 during 2019/20.

Its author, TDS Chief Executive Steve Harriott, says the figures are ‘most likely down to the pandemic’ as fewer people have moved home during the various lockdowns.

The report says the chief reasons for disputes remains issues that will be familiar to most property managers and agents – cleaning, damage, redecorating and gardening.

But rent arrears, surprisingly have receded as a problem during Covid, most probably a result of the government’s multi-billion pound injection of cash into the Universal Credit system and furlough scheme.

Tenancy disputes

Cleaning continues to be the prominent reason for tenancy disputes and accounted for 49% in England & Wales, 42% in Northern Ireland and 70% in Scotland during the 2020/21 period.

Harriott says: “Our annual Statistical Briefing reveals interesting industry trends in the private rented sector and highlights the impact of Covid-19 in all regions of the UK.

“Transparent, factual data has never been more important, and this report is just one way we play our part in instilling trust in the private rented sector.”

The TDS Statistical Briefing can now be downloaded for free at: Statistical Briefing 2020-21

Read more about TDS.

September 2, 2021

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