In this week’s #ExpertView, Steve Harriott, CEO of Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) discusses the release of TDS’ Statistical Briefing Reports 2017-2018.
This year’s Statistical Briefing shows that, for the eighth consecutive year, less than 1% (0.85%) of all tenancies ended in a dispute over the tenancy deposit.
Published every year, Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s (TDS) Statistical Briefings pull together information from a variety of sources including Freedom of Information (FOI) data and statistics gathered by TDS.
The Statistical Briefing reveals the low level of disputes across all three Government-backed deposit protection schemes. For the sixth year running, cleaning is the most common contributing factor to tenancy deposit disputes and was cited in 54% of all disputes adjudicated by TDS in 2017/18. It was closely followed by damage (49%), decoration (31%), rent arrears (20%) and gardening (16%).
Our report also reveals other insights into the broader private rented sector (PRS). Since 2010, there has been a 26% rise in the average deposit value for England and Wales (from £880 to £1,110), but the report notes that these figures do not show regional variations.
TDS’ sister organisation, TDS Northern Ireland (TDSNI) also released its Statistical Briefing and demonstrates differences between the sectors in both regions. For example, in Northern Ireland, the average deposit has remained relatively stable, sitting at £587 in 2018, just over half the average value for England and Wales.
As the private rented sector and the need for robust deposit protection continues to grow, as it has done over the last decade and more, it’s important to take stock of where we are and look for trends. Despite the number of tenancy deposits protected increasing by over 300% in the last ten years, the rates of disputes have remained regularly below 1%. That means the overwhelming majority of tenancies end in agreement between the tenant and the landlord or letting agent about how the deposit is awarded.
It’s unsurprising to see cleaning remain as the number one reason for disputes due to its subjectivity – what might seem clean to one party could be viewed differently by another. Our annual Statistical Briefing brings to light interesting trends from the private rented sector, but also highlights the performance of TDS. It’s vitally important to us that we have the trust of everyone in the private rented sector and transparency is central to this.
To read the full Statistical Briefing for TDS England and Wales, click here.
To read the full Statistical Briefing for TDS Northern Ireland, click here.
About the author:
Steve Harriott MA (Oxon), PGCE, MSc, FCIH is the Chief Executive of The Dispute Service Ltd. He has been Chief Executive since September 2010 and has worked as Chief Executive of three housing associations as well as chairing a housing association and a regeneration charity. He is currently also a Director at SafeDeposits Scotland, a Director of TDS Northern Ireland and a Director of the TDS Charitable Foundation.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a Government-approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not for profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.
ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: firstname.lastname@example.org. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.
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 N.B. more than one cause can be attributed to the dispute case.