Scotland’s tidiest and most green-fingered renters revealed
One in four private tenants has deductions taken from their deposit when they leave the property but almost all successfully claim the cash back, according to a new study which also found variations in tenant behaviour across Scotland.
The first annual survey of the money deducted by landlords from tenants’ deposits when leases end by SafeDeposits Scotland found that deductions were made from 82% of deposits.
Of this number, 98% of deductions were returned to tenants without the need to go to adjudication, where deductions had been agreed by landlord and tenant.
Conducted using data from a total of 83,812 deposit repayments made over the last year in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling, Glasgow and Dumfries, the survey also discovered significant differences around Scotland regarding the reasons for deductions being made from deposits.
Dumfries tenants were bottom of the list in Scotland at looking after the décor of rented properties with 8% deposits in that area seeing deductions made due to remedial redecoration work. Tenants in Aberdeen were the best in Scotland at looking after properties with only 1.92% of deductions made there for redecoration.
A similar pattern emerged for issues with rent. 45.33% of tenancies in Dumfries ended with deductions being sought from deposits for rent arrears – the highest in the country. At the other end of the scale is Aberdeen with a figure of only 5.98%. The disparity between the two areas for rent issues was the highest in any of the categories, with almost 40% difference from highest to lowest.
While Dumfries tenants may be worst at paying rent at the end of a lease, they’re the best in Scotland at getting the property spotless for the next tenant. Dumfries is the cleanest area with only 13% of deposits seeing a reduction due to a property needing to be cleaned after the tenants leave. Worst area in Scotland is Stirling where more than half of tenancies end with properties needing cleaned.
The gardens of Dundee are green and pleasant places with the city of discovery coming top for gardening. Only 0.77% of deposits were reduced for issues there. Inverness, meanwhile, came out worst with 7.92% of deposits there being reduced for matters relating to garden upkeep.
For general damage, Edinburgh renters were most likely to look after properties with only 7.85% of deposits seeing a reduction. Aberdeen tenants might have been great at paying the rent but they let themselves down on how well they looked after their property, with 32.56% of deductions made from deposits being down to damage in the Granite City, the worst in Scotland.
Victoria Nixon, operations manager of SafeDeposits Scotland, said: “As we look after the majority of tenancy deposits in Scotland we have a vast amount of data regarding the Scottish private rental sector. Looking at how landlords around the country have made deductions gives a fascinating insight in to the rental market and, perhaps, the differences between us as Scots.”