Landlords still face cleaning as top check-out dispute

Being handed back dirty properties at the tenant’s check-out stage is still the number one cause of disputes between landlords and tenants, according to a new report.

Imfuna Let says that cleaning accounts for 58% of disputes and that the number has risen by 5% on last year. The next big cause for complaint is property damage.

This affected 52% of landlords and 32% said redecoration was the next worse for dispute.

Issues with gardening occurred for 17% of respondents, and rent arrears were the cause of a dispute for 10% of landlords.

Rent arrears takes first place

When it came to costing the dispute, rent arrears take first place with an average value of £1,160.

Landlords then face property damage worth £475 and redecoration costs of £449. They also had to pay cleaning costs of £220 and foot a gardening bill of £195.

The founder of Imfuna Let, Jax Kneppers, said that tenants claim in their defence that their responsibility for the property’s cleanliness when their tenancy began was not made clear to them.

She added: “Tenants claim that their tenancy agreement does not state what is expected of them”.

“Landlords and letting agents who want to make deductions for cleaning costs should be careful and record the property’s cleanliness in detail, both at the start and at the end of the tenancy.”

Ms Kneppers also highlighted the landlords should ensure the charges they are claiming in a dispute are a fair reflection of the costs involved and of the property’s condition when the tenancy began.

Landlords face regional differences in rent increases

Meanwhile, lettings firm Belvoir says in its latest rental index report that there are regional differences appearing for rents being charged by landlords.

The firm also highlights a shortage of quality rental accommodation.

Belvoir points out that rents are higher now than they were in the third quarter of 2008 by 3.5% and that an increasing number of ‘reluctant’ landlords are choosing use the upturn in the sales market as an opportunity to sell up.

Reach the rent levels being charged in 2008

However, the index also reveals there are some regions, particularly Devon, Norfolk and Lancashire, which have yet to reach the rent levels being charged in 2008 for those areas.

The firm also points out that the rents being charged are in no danger of running ‘out of control’ since there is a shortage of quality rental accommodation which would help push up rents.

Other highlights from their report reveal that in Wales, landlords are charging more for larger properties as four bed rental properties have seen rents rise from £950 to £1,100.


About S Thompson

Simon Thompson is Editor of Landlord News and CEO of

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply