A call for an increase in deposits | CPS Homes

A call for an increase in deposits

Dirty toiletThe Association of Independent Inventory Clerks has advised both agents and landlords to increase the cost of deposits, due to the extortionate expense of damages and cleaning of properties in some areas of the UK. Many properties are often left in a poor condition at check-out, and the deposits can be insufficient to cover the charges that landlords are then forced to spend on repairs.

Figures from My Deposits reveal that the average tenancy deposit has increased massively by £304, from £893.82 in mid-2007, to £1,197.73 of late. However, the statistics also expose a considerable variation between the most expensive and the cheapest areas in England and Wales, with a £1,168 difference. As expected, the priciest average deposit paid by tenants is in London, pricing at £1,760.30, which has risen by £37.20 since last year, and in contrast the cheapest is as low as £592.75 in Yorkshire and Humber. The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) acknowledges that in many cases landlords were unable to restore the properties to their previous state due to the insufficient funds from deposits.

The Chair of AIIC, Pat Barber, states that:

“Landlords and agents may need to review the deposits they take to ensure they will cover any potential costs incurred at check-out.  In some parts of the UK, the deposit simply is not enough to cover the costs to return the property back to its original condition at the end of the tenancy should things go badly wrong. On many occasions, we have been faced with filthy properties requiring a full deep clean.  We have also seen numerous cases of damage to carpets and floor coverings, baths, sinks and other fixtures and fittings - all of which are costly to repair/replace.”

Agents and landlords expect properties to be left in the same conditions as they were found, which is reinforced in the contract, and yet, too many tenants fail to comply with the agreement and leave the property in an unacceptable state. The AIIC has noted the most common cleaning issues that tenants often neglect:

  • Ovens: statistics show that ovens are the most poorly-kept product, with many tenants failing to clean inside it, and inadequately maintaining it throughout their tenancy, resulting in burn marks and grease stains. The costs of cleaning would usually start from around £80.
    Our tip: once a month, deep clean inside and around the oven to avoid any build-up of grime. Avoid leaving food, packaging or cooking utensils on the hob, which can cause scratches or leave burn marks.
  • Carpets and flooring: carpets can be quite vulnerable to scuffs, stains and marks, and wooden flooring is also delicate, as any scratches will stick out like a sore thumb. Many tenants try to conceal these issues with furniture, which can sometimes result in landlords having to fork out for new flooring.
    Our tip: avoid dragging any furniture, make sure to always turn off your straighteners, tongs and irons and to never put them on the floor unless they’ve cooled down, as it will burn the carpet and could even result in a house fire. If you spill food or liquid, it’s better to clean it up at once and apply specific treatment if necessary.
  • Lime scale: tenants often miss lime scale marks which build up in the kitchen and bathroom, on taps, shower heads, tiled walls and inside the kettle.
    Our tip: use lime scale remover to scrub the lime scale prone areas in your bathroom and kitchen every fortnight to prevent lime scale from accumulating.
  • Grease: kitchen surfaces, fan extractors and cupboards are exposed to steam and smoke every time you cook, and this can result in a thick build-up of grease.
    Our tip: regularly clean the areas that are vulnerable to smoke to dispose of grease, and remember to clean the fan extractor, because it is often neglected.

Although it may sound like common sense, these issues are quite often forgotten about by most people, and it becomes an issue when tenants forget it as they are not in their own property and any damages will fall on their landlords to repair. To avoid any dispute about the condition of the property, it is advisable that landlords, agents and tenants take photographs of the property at check-in and check-out and communicate throughout the tenancy to make sure any issues are dealt with rapidly. 

If you are a landlord or tenant and would like more advice don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be delighted to help!

25 March 2015

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