The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) says that basic communication is the key to avoiding official deposit disputes.
A simple conversation – whereby a tenant contacts their landlord to discuss any disagreements over deposit deductions – could help to massively reduce the chances of a formal tenancy dispute assessment by one of the three government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.
In its recently published annual report, The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) revealed that the number of disputes lodged with the organisation rose by 25% in the last twelve months.
Furthermore, recent data released by my|deposits showed that, in the past year, 30% of initial disagreements didn't proceed to a formal Alternative Dispute Resolution. This, the AIIC believes, highlights the importance of communication between all parties to avoid deposit disputes.
The overall number of disputes is rising year by year, with the AIIC insistent that better communication between landlords and tenants is the best way to go about reducing this figure. Cleaning (58%) and damage (52%) were the two most common reasons for disputes during 2014/2015, the TDS found.
“It is disappointing that disputes seem to be on the rise,” Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, commented. “There are easy steps to follow to ensure that both parties are protected and the chance of an end of tenancy dispute is minimised. Aside from the tenancy agreement, protecting a property by having a fully detailed inventory is vital.”
“Tenants must have a copy of this document on the day they move in to enable them check and agree the contents,” she continued. “This signed document can then be used at time of check out, it is very difficult for a tenant to argue against such firm evidence of check in condition. Should a dispute occur a simple conversation between the landlord and the tenant really could make all the difference.”