While security deposits are undoubtedly a vital aspect of agreeing a tenancy as a means of protecting a property from excessive damage or neglect, they can be a bone of contention between landlord and tenant, with property managers often caught in the middle.
Nobody wants a dispute to occur at the end of a tenancy when all parties would rather move on as quickly as possible. However, landlords often feel that tenants have damaged items or not cleaned enough to prevent permanent damage to certain areas, and they want the cost covered by the security deposit. Tenants, conversely, usually feel that the damage either doesn't exist; already existed when they moved in; or shouldn't cost as much to fix as the landlord thinks it will.
There are many instances in which these situations can be resolved quickly and easily, but sometimes a dispute will go so far that the deposit protection scheme that the deposit was placed in at the beginning of the tenancy will refer the matter to an independent adjudicator, who will examine the evidence and settle the case.
It's prudent for property managers, given that they work on behalf of landlords, to educate (or refresh) themselves in the area of security deposit deduction disputes, and ensure that they can both limit the likelihood of a dispute occurring by creating a thorough Tenancy Agreement that cannot be argued against later on, and increase the likelihood of being ruled in favour of if an adjudicator has to become involved. This increases your value to landlords, which could be vital at the moment - you need to keep the ones you have and attract new ones to grow your business as much as possible before the Tenant Fees Bill is passed into law and restricts your income.
With this in mind, we've created a Security Deposit Deduction Guide for Property Managers to ensure you have all the information you need to safeguard both your customers' properties and tenants' deposits as much as it is in your power to do so. The guide is completely free to download via the link below - let us know if it's helped you!