New research from flat sharing marketplace Weroom has revealed that almost two thirds of all flat sharers in Britain have had a dispute over their deposit with a landlords.

The survey found that 60 per cent of flat sharers in the UK had experienced a dispute and those in London were most likely to be affected. A total of 37 per cent of the flat sharers in London said they had been affected by a deposit dispute.

The report indicates that disputes most often had property damage as the central focus, with 70 per cent of respondents citing it as the reason for problems. Maintenance issues came in second at 68 per cent, with 30 per cent citing cleaning as a cause.

Meanwhile, only a third (31 per cent) of all of the flat sharers questioned said they felt that they knew their legal rights and more than half (52 per cent) said that they wanted to see the British Government crackdown on bad landlords. More than two thirds (35 per cent) want to see laws introduced in a bid to regulate the rentals market.

The poll discovered that 57 per cent of British flat sharers claim to have felt intimidated by a letting agent or landlord, whilst 15 per cent said that they had elected to give in over a dispute in order to prevent confrontation with a landlord.

A total of 71 per cent of those polled said that they had found themselves losing money from their deposits in circumstances they believed were not their fault. And almost a quarter of respondents (22 per cent) said they were having to deal with a dispute over a deposit a year after they had left the property.

More than half of the people involved (57 per cent) said that their landlords had not honoured the requirement to place their deposit into an authorised Government-backed scheme when their tenancy began or had failed to maintain the property as required during the tenancy. Another 15 per cent claimed that they had had their deposit completely withheld with an inadequate explanation being offered.

There were, however, 22 per cent of flat sharers and renters who knew that they were the party responsible for problems, and a quarter who admitted they had left behind unpaid bills and rent arrears. Six per cent admitted that they had disputed deposit retention even though they were at fault.

This highlights exactly why it’s important for both the landlord and the tenant to have a detailed inventory of the property when moving in to compare to when moving out. Not only does it resolve disputes between the owner and tenants, it will also identify who is responsible in a HMO tenancy.