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Written by rosalind renshaw

Tenants have lost £1.1bn in the past three years, averaging £367m per year, as a result of deposits being withheld.

According to FindaProperty, 40% of tenants in the last three years have lost some or all of their deposit, with the amount averaging £313 per tenant. One in five said they had had over £500 withheld.

One-fifth of tenants claim they were penalised because of damage caused by previous tenants, and 10% resorted to legal action to try to recover withheld deposit money.

The most common reason for deposit monies being withheld was to cover the cost of cleaning (37%) and damage to carpets and curtains (21%), while 19% of charges related to marks on the wall and 13% to poor garden maintenance.

A disgruntled 43% of tenants who have had deposit funds withheld say the amount of money deducted was considerably more than it would have cost to fix the problems.


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    Most landlords do leave the property in the same mess for the new tenents and pocket the deposit witheld from old tenants meant for cleaning. I have been in a tenancy where the landlord said they would get things fixed and clean before we moved in, and subsequently didnt until about 3 months into tenancy! This is common in the experience of many people I have spoke to concerning this. I believe a landlord database is required to allow tenants to vet a landlord before they decide to rent. Landlords require references and so do tenants!

    • 24 June 2013 23:26 PM
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    what about when thelandlord charges for professional cleaners,gets the tenents to clean the property and the relets the property and pockets the money charged for cleaning and the property was left in better condition than when we moved in

    • 22 September 2012 18:52 PM
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    There is only an injustice here if the landlord did not advise the tenant of upcoming deductions prior to them vacating the property. Otherwise, if the amount charged was greater than the cost of fixing the problem then the tenant should fix the problem! In 30 years as a landlord to student tenants (representing some 60 turnarounds) only twice has the property been properly cleaned and presented in the state in which it was found. I, like many landlords, have never charged the full and true cost of repairs and cleaning to the tenants deposit, yet still receive much abuse for what I have charged despite giving a full invoice for necessary repairs and cleaning.
    Tenants generally have no idea what things cost.

    • 10 July 2012 11:20 AM
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    All I ever hear about is the poor old tenant . In ten years and many tenants only one has cleaned the property good enough to re-let . I would like to leave the mess they all leave for the new tenants and see the outcome.

    • 10 July 2012 09:41 AM
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