Here are some common disputes that could prevent a tenant from getting their full deposit back.


People have differing opinions of what is clean and what isn’t. Therefore disputes concerning cleanliness are common place at the end of a tenancy. To help avoid a dispute regarding cleanliness it’s a good idea to have the property professionally cleaned. If this is not possible, make sure it’s cleaned to a high standard before the start of tenancy. This should be recorded on the inventory and backed up with photographic evidence. Particular attention needs to be paid to the kitchen and bathroom areas.

It’s important to present a new tenant with a beautifully cleaned property. You will therefore demonstrate that the property needs to be returned in the same state at the end of their tenancy. The chances of the property being clean and well-kept are greater.

Damages and Breakages

This area of possible dispute needs not be confused with fair wear and tear. Tenants may be subject to compensation to a landlord if they break or damage an item in a property. If damage was deliberate, then a tenant should be held accountable and could expect a deduction in their deposit. There are principles in place to help determine what is fair wear and tear as well as, what is damage that the tenant is liable for. This subject deserves entire separate post to cover.


Smoking within a property causes a layer of yellow tobacco to form over almost everything inside a property. The stale smell of tobacco will also be prominent within the building and fixtures, fittings, especially soft furnishings such as rugs will be affected. The cost of repairing the damage to a property can be expensive, as specialist deep cleaning tools may have to be used to repair any damage or the property may need to be redecorated. In bad cases soft furnishing such as sofas and curtains may need to be replaced. If a tenant has smoked inside their rented property without permission, they can expect to be liable to deposit deductions.

Mould and Condensation

When properties are not adequately ventilated mould can build up, through condensation. If steps are not taken to deal with the extra dampness in the air, mould can grow on walls, furniture, windows, furniture and even clothes. Mould stains can be particularly troublesome to remove, and the smell of mould can be quite unpleasant. If damage has occurred in a property as a result of lack of ventilation, the tenant is at risk of a deduction in their deposit.

Rubbish and Abandoned items

It is the tenant’s responsibility to clear the property of any unwanted items or items belonging to them at the end of their tenancy. It is unacceptable for any tenant to leave items they could not manage to move or can’t be bothered to move. Any rubbish or unwanted items needs to be cleared by the tenant.  Any removal costs for these items can be deducted from the deposit.

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