Tenant deposit disputes down so far this year

The number of rental deposit disputes lodged with Hamilton Fraser’s government-authorised deposit scheme, mydeposits, has fallen by -15% across England so far this year.

Analysis of the data by Hamilton Fraser’s sister company and deposit replacement provider Ome found that London, the South East and the North East have all seen the largest drop in deposit disputes (-23%) so far in 2020 when compared to the same time last year.

Deposit disputes are also down in the West Midlands (-16%), Yorkshire and the Humber (-11%), East of England (-8%) and the North West (-2%).

The East Midlands (11%) and the South West (18%) are the only regions to see an increase in deposit disputes in comparison to the same time frame last year.

While London has seen one of the largest declines it is still home to the most disputes. The capital accounts for 37% of all disputes lodged so far this year, with the South East (16%) and South West (10%) also accounting for a large percentage.

At 2%, the North East is home to the lowest number of deposit disputes as a percentage of all disputes in England.

The main reason for withholding a deposit has been for post-tenancy cleaning, which accounts for 26% of all deposit disputes. Damage to the property and the deposit not being returned in the first place are also some of the most common reasons that deposits were withheld (20%).

The average deposit amount being disputed has remained unchanged at £811, however, there has been a slight swing in the proportion of deposit being awarded.

On average, tenants are being awarded 2% less of the average deposit when compared to last year, while landlords are receiving 2% more on the average deposit dispute.

That said, tenants are still being awarded 67% of their deposit via the average dispute claim.

Table shows the percentage increase in deposits between Jan and May of this year and last year, as well as the current percentage of total deposits by region.
Location
Percentage increase in disputes year on year
Current disputes as a percentage of total
Jan-May 2019 to Jan-May 2020
Jan-May 2020
London
-23%
37%
South East
-23%
16%
South West
18%
10%
North West
-2%
9%
East of England
-8%
8%
East Midlands
11%
6%
West Midlands
-16%
6%
Yorkshire and the Humber
-11%
4%
North East
-23%
2%
England
-15%
N/A
Table shows the average amount of a deposit being disputed and the year on year change.
Location
Average amounts disputed
Percentage increase year on year
Jan-May 2020
Jan-May 2019 to Jan-May 2020
East Midlands
£696
3.4%
East of England
£916
9.0%
London
£1,338
-1.4%
North East
£597
-9.4%
North West
£605
-9.3%
South East
£1,033
8.2%
South West
£706
-5.6%
West Midlands
£784
-2.9%
Yorkshire and the Humber
£620
4.3%
England
£810.5
-0.1%
Table shows the percentage of disputed deposit awarded to both tenant and landlord and the annual change
Location
Average amount of deposit awarded to Tenants
Change %
Average amount of deposit awarded to Landlords
Change %
(Jan to May 2020)
(Jan to May 2020)
East Midlands
68%
-2%
32%
2%
East of England
64%
-5%
36%
5%
London
72%
-2%
28%
2%
North East
64%
7%
36%
-7%
North West
62%
-3%
38%
3%
South East
69%
0%
31%
0%
South West
65%
-4%
35%
4%
West Midlands
73%
6%
27%
-6%
Yorkshire and the Humber
58%
-11%
42%
11%
England
67%
-2%
33%
2%
Table shows the reason for all disputed deposit by region and nationally
Location
Cleaning
Damage to property
Deposit not returned
Redecoration
Missing items
Other deductions
Rent arrears
East Midlands
32%
18%
25%
13%
3%
9%
1%
East of England
27%
14%
24%
20%
2%
10%
3%
London
22%
24%
18%
16%
6%
12%
3%
North East
26%
22%
20%
20%
4%
10%
0%
North West
30%
20%
17%
18%
5%
8%
3%
South East
31%
22%
17%
15%
4%
8%
3%
South West
32%
18%
18%
20%
3%
8%
1%
West Midlands
25%
11%
41%
18%
2%
2%
1%
Yorkshire and the Humber
22%
22%
19%
25%
4%
6%
2%
England
26%
20%
20%
17%
4%
9%
2%

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