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Arrears not a significant cause of despite disputes - TDS

Yet again the issue of cleaning has been identified as the single largest cause of end-of-tenancy disputes leading to deposits being retained.

According to new TDS figures, cleaning was at the heart of 49 per cent of disputes in England and Wales, 42 per cent in Northern Ireland and 70 per cent in Scotland during 2020/21.

This was followed by disputes over damage and redecoration.


Arrears - contrary to horror stories painted by some rental activists - was the cause in only 15 per cent of the disputes, only slightly above the state of the garden.

However, overall the number of disputes fell during the year under review - thanks, it is thought, to renters’ caution about moving during the pandemic.

TDS says just 0.7 per cent or 26,907 of tenancies ended in a dispute during 2020/2021 - well down on the 2019/20 figures of 0.85 per cent and 34,993.

TDS chief executive Steve Harriott says the drop is “most likely down to the pandemic” with fewer evictions and tenant-led moves.

Of the registered disputes, 75 per cent were raised by tenants, 17 per cent by agents, and just eight per cent by landlords.

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.”

You can see the TDS Statistical Briefing here.

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  • icon

    Does that headline even make sense? Sloppy.

    Maybe arrears are not a big cause of disputes because it is more black or white than cleaning. Either you have paid or you haven't. Cleaning is more subjective and in my opinion many people don't really know how to clean a house properly!

  • icon

    Perhaps arrears is not a big cause of disputes because we are not allowed to dispute it and powerless to do anything about it, just suffer in silence.

  • George Dawes

    Michael is quite correct , the way our useless incompetent lazy corrupt government have treated decent landlords is a disgrace


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