Home Property UK renters losing over £700 million in deposit costs due to cleaning-related deductions

UK renters losing over £700 million in deposit costs due to cleaning-related deductions

18th Jun 24 1:48 pm

New data from SpareRoom, the UK’s number one flat-sharing site, has revealed the staggering financial impact of cleaning-related deposit deductions on renters.

Almost two thirds (63%) of UK renters have experienced deposit deductions due to cleaning-related issues, leading to over £724million worth of losses overall per year in the UK.

These losses are based on claims that the property was not thoroughly cleaned prior to the tenancy ending, and therefore landlords have needed to pay for professional services.

The average amount of money deducted from renters’ deposits was £250, but 29% suffered deductions of more than £500, and 16% had over £750 subtracted.

Of those who experienced cleaning-related deductions, only one third (34%) proactively contested them and of those who did contest, 41% were able to reach an agreement with their landlord to reduce or cancel the proposed deductions.

And the topic of household cleaning also rears its head as a common cause of breakdown in flatmate communication. Whilst 27% of renters say they’ve created a cleaning rota to determine who cleans when, 28% say they don’t have a system at all, and simply chip in when needed.

The latter, however, doesn’t always prove fruitful, as almost three in five (59%) renters said they’d experienced arguments with flatmates over cleaning. This is despite ‘similar standards of cleanliness’ ranking second in a recent SpareRoom poll of the most important flatmate characteristics.

Only 17% of renters said they paid for a professional clean prior to moving out, and commenting on these figures, Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom Director said, “Navigating the moving out process can be a stressful one, for both renters and landlords, and ultimately landlords want to ensure their property is left in a good condition as much as renters want their deposits back.

Although landlords can’t legally demand that tenants pay for professional cleaning, to minimise the risk of cleaning-related deposit deductions, renters should ensure that they’ve conducted a thorough clean either themselves or using a professional service, as well as staying on top of cleaning throughout the tenancy. It can be a tricky road to navigate, but transparent landlord-tenant conversations throughout the process can help to ensure there are no surprise deductions at the end of the road.”

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