The ratio of deposit disputes in England & Wales is just over one per cent according to official figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The Government figures show that of the Seven million (7,052,255) deposits that have been protected since the launch of the legislation in 2007, only 91,802 have ended up requiring formal dispute adjudication – just 1.3 per cent.
All Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes are required to provide a free and impartial service to landlords and tenants who are unable to reach an agreement over the return of tenancy deposits.
Furthermore, a total of 10,657 complaints about deposit protection (as distinct from disputes) and the service provided have been made to all three schemes in that time – which accounts for just under 1,800 complaints a year.
The figures were calculated by combining information provided by all three TDP schemes that operate in England & Wales; my|deposits, The Deposit Protection Service and The Dispute Service.
Interestingly, of the 91,802 disputes that have been raised across all schemes since 2007, only a fifth (18,751) related to deposits that were protected with the NLA-backed scheme, mydeposits. Similarly, the scheme accounted for less than a fifth (19 per cent) of the 10,657 deposit protection complaints made to all schemes over the last six years.
Eddie Hooker, Chief Executive of the dispute resolution award-winning my|deposits, said:
“TDP was introduced to protect the tenant’s money so it’s extremely encouraging to learn that only one per cent of tenants experience issues over the return of their deposit which they cannot sort out without the help of the schemes.
“It’s good news for tenants, as it shows the vast majority are happy with the return of their deposit at the end of the tenancy. It also shows that the relationship between landlord/agent and tenant is improving.
“We’ve worked hard over the last six years to improve our disputes processes and this was recognised when we picked up the award for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) last year.
“We also put a lot of effort into educating both members and tenants about how to avoid deposit disputes and it looks like this is paying off too. Negotiation is key and with our support around a third of initial deposit problems avoid formal adjudication altogether.”
The official government figures also show that the total number of deposits protected last year, which stands at 2,659,301, totals a whopping £2.6bn (£2,637,843,361).
For information about the kinds of support my|deposits can offer you, including guidance on dispute workshops and events visit www.mydeposits.co.uk.