Tenants are increasingly leaving their property in a dirty condition for letting agents and landlords leading to an upsurge in deposit disputes, according to a report.
Inventory software solution provider, Imfuna Let, says that the proportion of deposit disputes over cleaning issues have increased from 13% to 40% in the last three years.
They add that the proportion of deposit disputes over damage claims have dropped from 60% to 46% in the same period.
The firm's CEO, Jax Kneppers, said: “Many tenants are surprised to be told that professional cleaning is needed at checkout after failing to leave their property in the same condition they arrived.
Cleaning dispute deductions need to be handled carefully
“These deductions for cleaning charges made by landlords are disputed regularly by tenants who claim that the property’s cleanliness at the start of their tenancy was not made clear.”
He added that tenants also complained that their agreement did not make clear what was expected from them.
Mr Kneppers says that landlords and agents who wanted to deduct cleaning costs should carefully record the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy as well as at the end.
In addition, any charges being made to clean the property should be a fair reflection of its condition when the tenancy began.
The firm says its clients have seen a 60% drop in cleaning disputes with many saying that their properties are in a much better condition when they are handed back.
A third of letting agents report rent increases
Rents are going up across England and Wales, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) which says one in three agents have seen a monthly increase in January and February this year.
The association says 41% of letting agents in the south-east of England registered rent increases whereas for those in Wales only 13% of agents saw rents grow - despite strong competition for rental properties.
The average number of tenants registered per branch looking for rental property is 46 and members reveal they have an average of 180 rental properties on their books.
East Midlands has the most number of potential tenants
The highest average per region is for properties in the East Midlands where agents they have an average of 269 each.
ARLA also reports that most of its members are divided over the upcoming General Election with very few impressed with Labour’s idea to bring in three year tenancy agreements.
They are also not impressed with a Labour plan for rent controls and tighter rules over tenant eviction.