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Protection scheme reports dramatic drop in rental deposit disputes

Heralded as a new period of harmony between landlords, tenants and agents, the reduced number of tenancies taken up this year are a more likely explanation.

Nigel Lewis

rental deposits

Rental deposit disputes have dropped by 15% in England this year, heralding “a more harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants”, according to one tenancy deposit scheme.

Ome found that London, the South East and the North East have all seen the largest drop in deposit disputes (-23%) so far in 2020 compared to the same time last year. Disputes are also down in the West Midlands (-16%), Yorkshire and the Humber (-11%), East of England (-8%) and the North West (-2%). The East Midlands (11%) and the South West (18%) are the only regions to register a rise.

Issues over post-tenancy cleaning accounts for 26% of all deposit disputes, while damage to a property and the deposit not being returned in the first place are other common reasons for disagreements. Ome says the average deposit amount being disputed remains £811, however, tenants are being awarded 2% less than they were last year, while landlords are getting 2% more.

It believes that while lockdown restrictions have prevented many renters from ending their tenancy – and contributed to the fall in disputes – most were already lodged and related to tenancies that ended before the lockdown.

Ome Co-founder Matthew Hooker (left) says it will be interesting to see if there’s a spike in deposit disputes once lockdown has ended.

“Unlike the backlog of evictions that have amassed due to new Government legislation, deposit disputes haven’t been put on hold as a result of the current pandemic as they can still be processed online,” he adds. “There’s a good chance this positive trend is here to stay and we still continue to see a more harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants for the months and years to come.”

June 25, 2020

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