At The Letting Line, we do our best to ensure landlords and tenants develop a positive working relationship. There are many shared goals and outcomes for landlords and tenants, and with our help, you can enjoy a more harmonious set-up.

However, there will be times when disputes arise. It is therefore helpful to know the most common disputes, as this can help you minimise the risk of them occurring, or even taking place.

We have helped bring many landlords and tenants together in and around Enfield. Our local knowledge ensures we provide relevant property management services, but we also stay in touch with the latest national news and findings in the lettings market.

The recent study by The Dispute Service (TDS) offers insight into the significant number of disputes taking place, and what issues cause problems.

The key headlines from the study are as follows:

  • The private rented sector (PRS) remains larger than the social rented sector in England, while smaller in Wales.

  • The number of private rented homes has risen in England from 2.13 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2018 and in Wales from 90,000 to 204,000.

  • The value of tenancy deposits has increased year on year from £885,098,501 in March 2008 to a total of £4,307,902,071 in March 2020.

  • The value of the average deposit has increased from £880 in March 2010 to £1,040 [a drop from £1,108 in the previous year] in March 2020.

  • There has been an increase in protected tenancy deposits with 924,181 protected in March 2008 to 4,141,467 protected in March 2020.

Dispute numbers have risen

  • Adjudications completed by all tenancy deposit schemes has risen from 458 in 2008 to 34,993 in 2020.

  • Since 2013, the percentage of total deposits protected resulting in a dispute, across all tenancy deposit protection schemes, has remained low, ranging between 0.82% and 0.92%.

  • Currently the rate sits at 0.84%.

The rise in dispute numbers should be seen as a concern for landlords and tenants, but it should also be a good starting point in avoiding problems later on.

While the role of landlord and tenant are often seen as opponents, this doesn’t have to be the case. It is possible for landlords and tenants to work together for joint benefit.

Reasons for disputes in England and Wales

  • Of the cases submitted to TDS Insured in 2019-20, cleaning appeared as a reason in 42% of cases, with damage arising in 41%.

  • 74% of disputes raised with TDS Insured were raised by tenants in 2019-20, with 19% raised by the agent and 7% raised by the landlord.

Reasons for tenancy deposit disputes in TDS Insured in 2019/20

  • Cleaning 42%

  • Damage 41%

  • Redecoration 39%

  • Gardening 23%

  • Rent arrears 14%

When you are aware of the most common reasons for tenancy disputes, you can work towards preventing them from happening.

Tenants should be motivated to keep their rental premises clean, as this will enhance their chances of reclaiming their deposit.

Landlords should encourage tenants to minimise mess, as this will save the landlord time, effort and money at the end of the tenancy. Some landlords provide cleaning materials for tenants. Viewing this as an investment justifies the cost, and it pays off at the end of the tenancy.

If you are looking for guidance or assistance in the Enfield rental market, we can help. At The Letting Line, we are a specialist letting and property management agent serving Enfield, Barnet, Potters Bar, Brookmans Park and surrounding areas.

We can arrange a free valuation for you, and if you are looking to contact us, please call us on 020 8342 1234.