The preventable reason most landlords claim against a deposit


When you reach the end of a tenancy, there’s a lot of things to think about... 

...moving vans, cancelling bills and packing to name but a few. In all this chaos it can be easy to forget one of the simplest ways to avoid losing some of your deposit.

At the end of many tenancies, everything runs smoothly and tenants receive their deposit back in full. However, where there is a claim against a deposit, our statistics show that landlords are most likely to seek deductions to cover the costs of cleaning the property when renters move out.

As you can see from the below table, over the last year, 63% of landlords who made a claim against their tenants’ deposit stated it was for cleaning.


Most properties will show a reasonable amount of ‘wear and tear’ over the course of the tenancy. However, this doesn’t include cleaning, you’ll be expected to return a property in the same state of cleanliness it was presented to you in. Remember that sparkling oven you admired upon cooking your first pizza? Well that’s how it needs to look when you hand back those keys.

As The DPS’ Head of Adjudication, Alexandra Coghlan-Forbes has seen plenty of disputes regarding cleaning. She’s put together a checklist of items that most regularly cause problems when it comes to cleaning claims.




How you can avoid the cost of cleaning 

Landlords want to be able to handover a property to new tenants in the best condition possible and don’t expect to foot the bill for someone else’s mess. This means any cleaning bill at the end of your tenancy may be deducted from your deposit. With this in mind, here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you don’t fall foul of the cleaning trap.

  • It’s helpful to take photos when you move into a property. You can refer back to them when you leave to make sure everything is back to its original condition.


  • Make sure you have a signed tenancy agreement, and a strong inventory with check-in and a check-out report. That way, you’ll have a document of all items and the state they are in should a dispute occur.


  • The best way to avoid cleaning becoming a mammoth task when you move out is to regularly clean throughout your tenancy. Maintaining cleanliness rather than letting mess, lime scale or dust build up is much easier in the long run.


  • If all else fails and cleaning isn’t your bag, then you can hire a cleaning service. This means you can make sure the job is done properly and also choose how much you spend rather than letting a disgruntled landlord choose.


  • Remember – the best way to get your deposit back in full and as quick as possible is to leave your property spick and span. You know it makes sense!


For more information and tips on ending your tenancy smoothly, head to our online learning zone.