What are the biggest causes of deposit disputes and how can they be resolved?

Any form of post-tenancy dispute is never desirable, but there are a number of reasons they typically exist; one in particular coming from the subject of deposits. But what are the biggest issues when it comes to disputes surrounding deposits and how can they be resolved?

The return of a deposit can often be a cause for an otherwise fantastic tenant-landlord relationship to sour; something that Abode always strive to ensure ends on a high note.

In 2019, 9,323 disputes were raised with the mydeposits scheme. Only 5,792 of these however (62.1%) progressed as far as the adjudication stage.

The key to avoiding any form of dispute following a tenancy is to sustain a happy and healthy relationship throughout; be that on a personal level or through an active management agency such as Abode. In fact, research by Hamilton Fraser’s deposit alternative scheme Ome reveals that 30% of deposit issues originate from poor or no communication whatsoever.


Cleaning and poor decoration carried out by tenants was the second largest origin of deposit disputes, taking up 23 per cent and 18 per cent of all disputes respectively. Surprisingly to some landlords and tenants perhaps is that rent arrears and outstanding bills were at the bottom of this research list; developing into only three per cent of deposit disputes.

Damage to property is always a primary concern for landlords, particularly as deposits may not always be able to cover the extent a tenant goes to in rare circumstances.

The key to not only settling a dispute, but avoiding one all together, is communication. As a landlord, the ideal scenario of letting a rental property involves a tenant treating the property as if it were there own, and with total respect. The key to achieving this of course is by crafting a healthy and communicative relationship between all parties, whether you’re a self-managed landlord or utilise the services of property management.

At Abode, we achieve this communication from the moment the first viewings take place with instant and detailed feedback. Inspections and open, transparent communication channels are the best building blocks for sustaining a healthy tenant relationship; proactively responding to any maintenance within a reasonable timeframe and striving to ensure they are happy. Happy tenants means guaranteed rental income and care taken of your property; thus eliminating the need to proceed to a deposit dispute at the end of any tenancy.

If you’d like any information on how to minimise the need for deposit disputes, give us a call on 0161 883 2525.

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