New View Residential - letting agents in Cambridge

First in Ethical Letting

Deposit disputes inevitable

According to flat-share portal Weroom, tenant deposit disputes are now inevitable. Thomas Villeneuve of Weroom discussed the issue in light of a survey they carried out, the results of which have been published by Property Reporter.

The survey found that some 60% of private rented sector tenants have been involved in a deposit dispute. Of the deposit disputes, some 70% of these involved property damage, while 68% concerned maintenance and 30% cleaning issues.

Mr Villeneuve said: “Deposit disputes are becoming an inevitable part of the rental experience and this has got to stop. Leaving a property with a broken light bulb or a dirty oven are increasingly common – and easily avoidable – causes of deposit disputes, and reasons for landlords to withhold money from renters.”

Villeneuve thinks many of these disputes could be avoided if both the landlord and their tenants were better aware of their responsibilities. Only 31% of tenants surveyed said they knew what their responsibilities were.

Some 52% of those surveyed said they would welcome increased government action against rogue operators in the private rented sector, while 38% would like specific laws to protect sharers. Some 35% would welcome more laws to regulate the rented sector as a whole.

Shockingly, 57% of tenants claimed to have felt intimidated by their letting agent or landlord, and 15% said they had ‘given in’ during a deposit dispute to avoid further confrontation.

Victor Jameson of New View Residential, a letting agent in Cambridge, commented: “We have very few deposit disputes. We put this down to using the very high referencing standards and to checking our inventories with the tenant on the day they move in.

“Some letting agents leave the tenant to check the inventory on their own during their first week at the property. I am sure this contributes to deposit disputes.

“I was saddened to read that 57% of tenants feel intimidated by their landlord or letting agent. I would always recommend that tenants use agents regulated by the Association of Residential Letting Agents(ARLA). ARLA letting agents should provide a clear complaints procedure and be willing to take the matter to ARLA or an independent arbitrator such as the Property Ombudsman.”


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