Thursday, 5 July 2012 12:04 PM
Private tenants have lost more than £1 billion from their rental deposits over the last three years as landlords deduct money when they leave, according to research by FindaProperty.com.
The property website found that four out of ten tenants who have moved in the last three years have lost some or all or their deposit. The average is £313 per person but 19 per cent of tenants said they had more than £500 deducted.
The combined total for all tenants works out at £367 million a year or £1.1 billion over the last three years.
FindaProperty.com is urging renters to read their tenancy agreement carefully and keep checking throughout their stay and especially when they come to leave.
The commonest reasons for landlords withholding deposit money are to cover the cost of cleaning (37 per cent) and damage to carpets and curtains (21 per cent). Those are followed by marks on or holes in the wall (16 per cent), garden maintenance and broken furniture (13 per cent each) and damp, mould or pest problems and unpaid bills (11 per cent each).
One in ten tenants (10 per cent) has resorted to legal action to recover the missing money. Two out of ten (20 per cent) of those who were charged for damage say it was caused by a previous tenant and four out of ten (43 per cent) say the amount deducted was considerably more than it would have cost to fix the problem identified by the landlord.
Nigel Lewis, property analyst at FindaProperty.com, said: “Our research shows one of the main reasons funds aren’t returned is a miscommunication between landlords and tenants about the condition in which the home should be left. It’s vital for renters to read their tenancy agreement closely before signing it and review it throughout their rental contract especially when it’s time to vacate the property.”
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- rental deposits