A survey by ARLA reveals reasons why letting agents and landlords hold deposit
Lack of cleanliness has emerged as the chief reason why landlords hold all or part of their tenants’ deposits back, according to a survey conducted by ARLA, which represents letting agents. The survey pointed that majority of tenants have to part with their money they deposited with the landlord as they fail to upkeep the property according to landlords’ standards which requires the tenants to leave the property in the same state as it was when move in. But, this does not seem to be the case for a large number of tenants (a majority of them) who lose their deposit upon vacating. Lack of maintenance of the property by the tenants fell under four categories, the survey of letting agents revealed.
Cleanliness is the top reason why tenants do not get their deposit back when they leave a property. It was found that almost nine in ten or eighty eight per cent of landlords keep the deposit with them upon the vacation of a property because of a messed up property.
The second most common reason why landlords keep the deposit is a lack of maintenance on the tenant’s part as tenants are expected to take care of the property they are renting. Forty-four percent of the letting agents said that they expect that tenants keep the gardens in the same state as it was when they moved in.
The third reason why letting agents or landlords hold the deposits, emerged to be a direct damage to the property. Thirty-nine per cent of the landlords do not return the money deposited with them because the tenants damage the property by sticking photos or hanging pictures without seeking prior permission from them.
The last of the reasons which leads the tenants to lose all or part of their money was not paying rents on time. Thirty one per cent of landlords cited unpaid rent for holding the money back.
According to ARLA President, Sally Lawson, as a general rule the tenant should leave the property that they were renting as they find it. They should ensure that they do not leave any personal belongings behind when they leave. She said that the tenants who leave a property should make sure that they leave the place in a clean and tidy state so that it is suitable for the next tenants. She further said that the tenants should make sure that they inform the letting agent or landlord regarding any damaged property at the time of agreement so that they are not in for a surprise if they lose their deposit at the time of leaving the property.